Wharton powers past Bloomingdale in late-inning comeback
|Wharton's Grady Maguire led the Wildcats' comeback win against Bloomingdale with a three-run homer in the seventh inning. (File photo)|
VALRICO - There wasn’t much going on for the Wharton Wildcats through the first 4 1/3 innings against Bloomingdale. The Wildcats were down six runs after three early home runs by Bloomingdale in the first two innings.
After Brock Wilken belted his second home run of the game in the second inning, the Wildcats wouldn’t allow another run for the rest of the game, and Wharton’s offense answered back with two big innings to mount a 7-6 comeback win.
|Grady Maguire, Wharton|
Fast forward to the seventh inning. The Wildcats were down to their final out of the game with nobody on base and Bloomingdale’s Riley Moore dealing in his second inning of relief. Baughman reached on an error by third baseman Jackson Hobbs when the ball went underneath his glove, and Wharton found new life. Hotinski would then reach on a walk, putting the tying runner aboard with Grady Maguire coming up to the plate. Maguire would be the hero.
“I was just looking for a good pitch to drive and got a fastball down the middle and just put a good swing on it,” said Maguire.
He hit the ball in the air and over the right field fence to tie the game at 6-6. Maguire said that he wasn’t necessarily trying to hit a home run.
“I was trying to stay short and drive one in the gap, that’s my mindset all the time,” he said.
|Nick Albury, Wharton|
“There was someone on second and I knew that this was a chance for me to be a hero, so I just took a nice approach and took it up the middle,” Albury said. “This is one of the best games I’ve played in my life. Coach always says that you gotta be ready to come up when your name is called, and I was ready."
Michael Rivera came in to close the game in the bottom of the seventh, completing a comeback victory for the resilient Wildcats, improving their record to 4-1 on the season.
“We got off to a slow start,” said Wildcats coach Scott Hoffman. “We showed a lot of resolve to be able figure out how to get a win any way possible. Guys came through when they needed to.”
For Bloomingdale (3-2), senior Bryce Hazzard was 2-for-3 with a home run, and Antonio De Jesus drove in a pair.
- Nick Nahas is a freelance writer in eastern Hillsborough County and covers a wide range of topics. Be sure and follow Nick on Twitter by clicking here.