Aggressive base running lifts Wharton past Wiregrass Ranch
|Wharton starting pitcher Carson Caso (No. 11) and Brian Baughman, who closed the game out with a 1-2-3 inning celebrate the Wildcats win. (Photo by Andy Warrener)|
By Andy Warrener, correspondent
TAMPA - In a tight-fisted contest between the host Wharton Wildcats (3-1) and visiting Wiregrass Ranch Bulls (1-3) a pair of explosive bursts of base-running made the difference for the Wildcats as they topped the Bulls, 7-4.
The first came in the bottom of the first inning, when the Wildcats loaded the bases on a Dylan McDonald double and a pair of walks. With Frank Micallef in a full count and two outs, McDonald was squeezing in hard from third base, when Micallef hit a sharp grounder to second base allowing the run to score easily. A throwing error compounded things and alos let Zach Ehrhard score, while another bad throw to the plate let Grady Maguire in.
“It was 3-2 with two outs and we all sprinted our butts off,” McDonald said, “and we’ve got guys that are fast enough to get all the way around.”
|Wharton's Grady McGuire scores a run in the Wildcats win. (Photo by Andy Warrener)|
|Dylan McDonald hustles home in the bottom of the first innings. (Photo by Andy Warrener)|
|Wharton sophomore Dylan McDonald|
McDonald went 2-for-2 with a double, a walk and three runs scored. The Bulls out-hit the Wildcats 7-4. Baughman came on in the seventh to close out the game, getting a ground out and a pair of strike outs, the last on just three pitches. Wharton starter Steven Hotinski logged five strike outs in two-and-one-thirds innings of work.