TEMPLE — The bus to the playoffs is starting to pull away and Temple might not have enough time to catch it before it zooms out of sight.
Copperas Cove built a six-run lead after an inning and a half and added to its advantage throughout Tuesday night’s District 12-6A game while the Wildcats — who had more errors than hits (4-3) — did little to help themselves get back into the contest, and the Bulldawgs exited Hallford Field with a 10-2 victory.
Temple (11-16-1, 7-7), which has lost two straight following a three-game winning streak, is 1½ back of the Bulldawgs (14-11-1, 8-5) for the fourth and final postseason spot. Cove has three games remaining and the Wildcats two — absolute, must-win home games next week versus Harker Heights and Waco Midway.
They’ll need some help as well.
Bulldawgs right-hander Chris Lingo struck out four — including three in the fourth to thwart a Wildcats bases-loaded rally — and allowed two hits in four plus innings to notch the win. Rusty Cochran pitched the final three innings, allowing one run and striking out four, with two of those ending anther Temple charge in fifth.
Cove touched up Temple starter Corey Goynes for two runs in the first and four more in the second to take a 6-0 lead. The Wildcats got one back in the second after Adrian Carlos (2 for 3) singled to lead off the frame and later scampered across on a Bulldawgs error. They did little else against Lingo.
Aaron Wagaman relieved Goynes and pitched four innings, and Brian Williams tossed the seventh.
Cove, which squandered a 3-0 lead and lost to the Wildcats, 7-4, in the teams’ previous meeting, didn’t approach in the slightest such a scenario Tuesday.
The Bulldawgs loaded the bases with no outs in the first and managed a pair of runs out of it with Nick Izquierdo’s RBI fielder’s choice and Michael Goudeau’s heads-up base running, taking home when catcher Gabe Garza threw to second on a delayed double steal with two outs.
Cove got an RBI single from Goudeau (2 for 2, four runs) and a run-scoring double from Josh Ropple (2 for 4) in its four-run second.
Ropple upped it to 7-1 in the fourth with a bloop single that chased in Goudeau.
Garza had an RBI single in the fifth for Temple.
Cove scored twice in the sixth for 9-2 lead without a hit and added Izquierdo’s solo homer in the seventh.
TUESDAY'S 12-6A SCORES
- Copperas Cove 10, Temple 2
- Harker Heights 7, Ellison 6, 9 innings
- Killeen 2, Shoemaker 0
- Waco Midway 2, Waco 0