By James Harper
Killeen Daily Herald
When the dust cleared, the home plate umpire signaled that Ellison's Jayson Figueroa was the final out of the Eagles' 2-1 loss to Copperas Cove on Tuesday night.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh and facing a 2-0 deficit, Landon Persick was hit by a pitch from Dawgs' relief pitcher Sevonne Spinks and moved to second on a wild pitch.
Figueroa then drew a walk and along with Persick advanced a base on a throwing error by Bulldawg catcher Warren Neely. Persick scored on a sacrifice fly by Sam Weston and Figueroa moved up to third.
However, Austin Greene's throw to the plate bounced over Neely's head and Spinks was in perfect position behind the plate to scoop and throw the ball to the Cove catcher, who tagged Figueroa in a cloud of dust for the Eagles' (2-22, 1-9 12-5A) final out.
"It looked like (Figueroa) was safe but the ump's got the final say," said Ellison coach Kyle Allred. "It was a hustle play on both sides and we came up short."
Dawgs (9-15, 5-5 12-5A) coach C.J. Wilk saw it differently.
"The big thing was that Spinks was where he was supposed to be," Wilk said. "That's the difference between going home and playing more innings."
After struggling in his last start for the Dawgs, Jhar Devilme pitched six shutout innings to earn the win. He struck out nine, including the first five he faced, walked two and only allowed one hit.
"Devilme is a great pitcher with a sneaky fastball because he has great control of his off-speed stuff," Allred said.
Devilme was just as effective from the batter's box. In the fifth inning, Eagles' pitcher Colby Reese issued back-to-back intentional walks to Ty Johnson and Brandon Smith, bringing Devilme to the plate with two on and no outs. He delivered an RBI double that scored Johnson for the game's first run
"They walked those first two batters to face me and I took that as disrespect to me, like I was a weak hitter," Devilme said. "I used it as motivation and just did my job, you know?"
Neely doubled in Justin Hughes in the sixth for a Cove insurance run that gave the Dawgs a 2-0 lead.
Reese pitched well in the loss, going 5 1/3 innings and only allowing two runs on six hits, while striking out three and walking four batters.