COPPERAS COVE — Copperas Cove finally has what it wanted all year — a winning district record.
Looking to return to the playoffs after an absence last year, the Bulldawgs entered Tuesday with an even 4-4 record in District 8-6A after starting the season 14-0-2.
Against visiting Harker Heights, however, Copperas Cove went above .500.
Following a scoreless opening inning, the Bulldawgs recorded at least one run in every inning for the duration of the contest in route to an 8-0 victory.
With the win, Copperas Cove moves into a three-way tie for third place with Ellison and San Angelo Central with five games remaining in the regular season.
While the Bulldawgs were productive offensively throughout the game, they did the most damage early.
After shortstop Colby Jost reached base on a walk to begin the second inning, teammate Jacob Wagner sent him across home plate three batters later on a RBI double. Then, Wagner added to the lead when a pickoff attempt at first base went awry, allowing the second baseman to score from third.
Copperas Cove (19-4-2, 5-4) pushed its lead to 3-0 when catcher Michael Goudeau hit a RBI double to left filed, scoring Jaylen Smith.
From there, the Bulldawgs steadily inflated their cushion.
Smith recorded a RBI in the third inning on a bases loaded walk to score Tyler Ingram before Josh Ropple scored on a wild pitch and Colby Jost knocked in pitcher Cameron Johnson in the fourth inning, making the score 6-0.
Tyler Ingram and Smith capped off the scoring by producing a RBI in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively.
Led by Nick Izquierdo’s 3-for-4 showing, Copperas Cove finished with a dozen hits in the victory. Smith, Johnson and Goudeau each had two hits and one run for the Bulldawgs.
Johnson also had a strong performance on the mound.
In 5 1/3 innings, the senior allowed just one hit and struck out 13 batters.
Harker Heights (13-10, 3-6) finished with just three hits with its first coming in the fifth inning. Knights catcher Jackson Rinehart was 2 for 2 with a double, while Zane Wallace had a single.
The squads will conclude the series Friday at Harker Heights.