COPPERAS COVE — The skid is over.
After going undefeated through the first 16 games of the season, Copperas Cove experienced adversity for the first time last week as Waco Midway swept the District 8-6A series opener.
Tuesday evening, however, the Bulldawgs returned to their previous form.
Thanks in part to a 3-for-3 showing at the plate from shortstop Colby Jost and a 13-strikeout performance from starting pitcher Cameron Johnson, Copperas Cove rebounded, beating Shoemaker 4-1.
The Bulldawgs never trailed in the contest, scoring the game’s first run in the second inning, when Jost’s single sent teammate Tyler Ingram, who reached base on a standup double to right field, across home plate.
Shoemaker erased the deficit in the fourth inning as Burt Cruz scored from first base after Copperas Cove catcher Michael Goudeau’s throw sailed into the outfield while trying to catch Cruz stealing.
In the bottom of the inning, though, the Bulldawgs responded.
Ingram connected to send Johnson home, giving Copperas Cove a 2-1 cushion, which the Bulldawgs inflated in the following inning.
After Johnson struck out the side to open the fifth inning, Copperas Cove
took advantage as Jost recorded his third single and collected his second RBI by sending third baseman Josh Ropple, who was 2 for 4, across the plate. Moments later, Justin Velesky walked with the bases loaded, allowing Johnson to score from third base.
In addition to scoring twice, Johnson was impressive on the mound, allowing just two hits in the complete-game victory.
Jesus Encarnacion took the pitching loss for Shoemaker, striking out three batters in 4 2/3 innings of work.
With the win, the Bulldawgs improve to 15-2- 2 on the season and 2-1 in district as they look to return to the playoffs following an absence last year. The Grey Wolves fell to 3-10- 1, 0-3 with the defeat after Ellison swept last week’s series.
The squads will conclude the series Friday at Shoemaker.
TUESDAY'S DISTRICT 8-6A BASEBALL
- Belton 11, Killeen 0, 5 inn.
- Copperas Cove 4, Shoemaker 1
- San Angelo Central 6, Ellison 1
- Waco Midway 11, Harker Heights 0, 6 inn.