COPPERAS COVE — With two on and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Copperas Cove infielder Michael Hays did something he knew he shouldn’t have done. He took a perfect pitch for a strike.
It didn’t take him long to atone for the mistake though.
Hays deposited the very next pitch into right-center field to bring home Tim Bechtold and give the Bulldawgs a 6-5 win over the Grey Wolves on Friday night.
“He threw the same pitch so I swung hard and tried to put something in play,” Hays said. “When it dropped, the game was over and everybody tapped me.”
The walk-off win came on a night when the Bulldawgs overcame a three-run lead to rally for their second District 8-5A win.
Hays finished the night going 2 for 4 with a pair of singles, the second of which earned him an RBI and a mobbing from Cove (9-3-1, 2-0) teammates after he touched first base.
“My approach was just to put something in play hard and hope that someone would make an error or it would be in the gap,” Hays said.
Cove senior Bryce Delano also had a strong game going 2 for 4 with two runs scored.
Jose Casillas led the Grey Wolves offense going 2 for 4 with a solo homer in the top of the first and Broderick Reed went 2 for 2 with two runs scored.
Trailing 5-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth, the Bulldawgs offense came alive and took advantage of some Shoemaker miscues.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Cove pinch-hitter Michael Sizemore grounded into what would have been the third out, but Kyle Winstead and Delano scored on an infield error that cut Shoemaker’s lead to 5-4.
“It was ugly early, but the kids never quit,” Cove head coach Dusty Brittain said. “With their never-say-die attitude, I never had a doubt — even down three.”
The Dawgs tied it up when a throwing error allowed designated hitter Ryan Dorroh to scored from second base.
Casillas got on base in the top of the seventh with a two-out single to left, but was stranded.
“This game was tough, but the game against Temple was tough,” Shoemaker head coach Harry Zambrana said. “We are beating ourselves. Hats off to Cove and Temple, I’m not going to discredit them because their kids are playing hard, but Shoemaker is beating Shoemaker.”
Bechtold led off the home eighth with a single and moved into scoring position on Winstead’s single.
The Wolves took their biggest lead in the top of the fourth with three runs on a pair of hits, but the Bulldawg defense committed two errors to help out Shoemaker’s cause.
Reed scored on a passed ball to break the tie and make it 3-2 Shoemaker.
Sauceda flew out to right to score Roberto Delgado. Miles Connor came home to cap the scoring after starting pitcher Wade Corn reached on a fielder’s choice that led to an infield error.
Junior shortstop Adrian Oviedo got Cove’s first hit of the night and scored the first Dawg run on an error.
Junior outfielder Derris Prater came around to score from second on an infield error that tied the game at two runs apiece.
That Shoemaker defensive miscue came with two outs.
Hays said Brittain, the first- year coach, has breathed new life into the team and that’s a reason why they overcame the 2-0 and 5-2 deficits.
“Coach Brittain has preached to us to stay hyped and stay up in the dugout,” Hays said. “I think that’s going to help us so much because there’s always going to be intensity in the game.”
The Dawgs look for their third district win on Tuesday when they visit Waco Midway while Shoemaker looks to beat KISD rival Killeen at home.