WAXAHACHIE — After dropping the first game of the series Thursday to Rockwall 8-7, Copperas Cove needed to win Game 2 to keep its season alive.
The Bulldawgs needed a late rally to force Game 3 with a 5-4 victory, but all the momentum was gone for the series finale.
Rockwall (25-9-2) controlled the momentum of Game 3 and cruised to a 16-1 victory that put an end to the Bulldawgs’ season.
“We struggled to get hits and throw strikes tonight and that’s what we built our team around,” said Copperas Cove head coach Bob Macy. “We got some good players that are on the JV, and we have guys who are going to help us next season.
“My philosophy is that you start with pitching and we have a good group of pitchers returning next season.”
In Game 2, down 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh, Josh Ropple reached on a Rockwall error.
Cam Petet lofted a fly ball into shallow center field and Ropple scored to tie the game 4-4.
Justin Velesky stepped up to the plate with two runners on base and two outs. He crushed the ball into left field and lifted the Bulldawgs to victory 5-4.
“The thing I’ve preached all year is offseason and when you do what these guys do with how hard they work, then you always have chances to win games late,” Macy said. “I’ll put our offseason program up against anybody’s in the state and it shows up down the stretch in games.”
The game didn’t start well at all for Copperas Cove.
After the first eight batters of the game for Rockwall the Bulldawgs went to the bullpen.
Copperas Cove starter Chris Lingo had four walks and hit two batters, which led to a 2-0 Rockwall lead entering the bottom of the first inning.
“The good thing from that is he will still have a fresh arm. A lot of kids can’t come back from that, but Lingo can,” Macy said. “He couldn’t find it and he got a little nervous, but I’m not afraid to use him again.
Colby Jost provided an offensive spark for the Bulldawgs in the bottom of the first.
Jost hit an RBI single that drove in Travis Sanders to cut the Yellowjackets lead to 2-1. Jost later scored on a sacrifice by Petet and knotted the game at 2-all.
Jacob Wagner got an RBI of his own a few pitches later that brought in Ropple and Cove took its first lead of the game 3-2
A scary moment unfolded early in the second inning when Michael Goudeau was hit in the face by a pitch.
Goudeau was forced to leave the game and head to a hospital for stitches. The game was delayed for about five minutes.
The beaning agitated some fans.
“A lot of what happened in that situation is social media; their pitcher didn’t mean to hit Goudeau,” said Macy. “... I think the whole thing got blown out of proportion.”
The game became a defensive struggle, where neither team was able to score until the top of the fifth.
Rockwall put runners on the corners and Travis Gober knocked in Zach Henry to tie the game at 3.
Rockwall took a 4-3 lead in the top of the seventh, which forced the Bulldawgs to rally and save their season.
Copperas Cove struggled to get anything going in Game 3.
The Bulldawgs’ only run of the game came in the second inning when Nick Izquierdo scored on an error.
Rockwall set the tone early on a two-run homer by Paden Adams. The Yellowjackets outscored the Bulldawgs 14-0 from that point on.
Copperas Cove (18-13-1) was only able to muster two hits in the game and was charged with four errors.
SATURDAY’S HIGH SCHOOL PLAYOFF SCORES
Class 6A bi-district
- Copperas Cove 5, Rockwall 4
- Rockwall 16, Copperas Cove 1, Rockwall wins series 2-1
- Rockwall-Heath 19, Ellison 0
- Rockwall-Heath 13, Ellison 2, Rockwall-Heath wins series 2-1
- Tyler Lee 5, Belton 0, Tyler Lee advances
Class 4A bi-district
- Wimberley 3, Salado 0, Wimberley wins series 2-0
- Lampasas 2, Boerne 1, Lampasas advances