COPPERAS COVE — Patience and persistence paid off.
Looking to improve its positioning in the District 12-6A standings, fourth-place Copperas Cove could not produce any offense against visiting Temple on Tuesday.
Through seven innings, the squads played to a scoreless tie, combining for just five hits, but in the bottomof the eighth inning, the Bulldawgs delivered.
Copperas Cove right fielder Caden Harris reached base after being hit by a pitch, and two batters later, he crossed home plate as teammate Jace Johnson’s sacrifice fly secured the only run in a 1-0 walk-off victory.
With the win, the Bulldawgs move one step closer to placing themselves among the district’s elite, improving to 13-11, 4-3, while the Wildcats (15-7, 5-2) fall out of a first-place tie.
Although neither team was able to score during regulation, there were opportunities.
Copperas Cove left a pair of runners stranded in the first and fourth inning, while Temple saw an inning end with the bases loaded twice en route to leaving nine players stranded altogether.
In the eighth inning, however, the Bulldawgs capitalized.
After being hit by a pitch, Harris advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt from teammate Ben Izquierdo in the ensuing at-bat. Then, a wild pitch during Johnson’s at-bat allowed Harris to move to third base, setting up his dash home after Johnson sent a pitch high to shallow right field.
Johnson hit a single to open the game for Copperas Cove, and pitcher Dekan Radigan, who threw five strikeouts before being replaced by Russel Cochran in the sixth inning, had a single in the second inning.
Cochran’s single in the fourth inning, and Harris’ single in the fifth inning rounded out the Bulldawgs’ four hits.
Temple had just one hit in the loss — a single from pitcher Aaron Wagaman, who had a dozen strikeouts before seeing his night end in the eighth inning due to reaching the pitch count, in the second inning.
Copperas Cove will look to carry the momentum into Friday’s home game against Belton, while the Wildcats attempt to rebound at Bryan.
Harker Heights 6-1
Copperas Cove 4-3
- Belton 13, Killeen 3, 5 innings
- Copperas Cove 1, Temple 0, 8 innings
- Ellison 16, Shoemaker 2, 5 innings
- Harker Heights 3, Bryan 2, 8 innings