NEW PORT RICHEY - The night was cold and for two innings, Wesley Chapel's bats seemed colder. But the Wildcats rallied from a 2-0 deficit on the strength of timely hitting to beat Class 4A-District 7 rival Mitchell 7-2 and remain undefeated.
A four-run third inning turned the game around for Wesley Chapel (4-0, 2-0). With one out, David Villereall walked, advanced to second and was driven home by a sharp single from Geoff Degroot. On the next pitch, Drew Mitchell doubled to left, driving home Degroot.
Mitchell then stole third and score on an error. Starting pitcher Cole Miraglia finished off the frame by walking, stealing second and scoring after two wild pitches.
Though Wesley Chapel only had four hits, three drove in runs. The Wildcats also worked the counts well, drawing four walks, benefiting from three hit batsmen, and adding three stolen bases.
"Last night's game and tonight's game, we basically started executing better," Wildcats coach Chuck Yingling said. "We're not going to be a power-hitting team, but we can do a lot of things with the bat and we've just done a good job the last two games.
The Wildcats have outscored their first four opponents 26-7.
"Usually, Wesley Chapel doesn't come out of the chute too fast," Yingling said. "The first couple games we came out, played OK and won those games. And each game after that we've matured."
Miraglia did most of his damage on the mound. After allowing two unearned runs to the Mustangs (3-2, 1-1) in the second, he allowed just two hits the rest of the way and finished with seven strikeouts in six-plus innings.
"Just started pounding the zone more and letting the defense work," Miraglia said.
Pitch count caught up with him by the seventh, when he walked the first two batters he faced, but Wesley Chapel had already built a five-run lead and Jeremy Thompson finished the game off.
For the Wildcats, Mitchell had two RBIs, while Degroot and Villereall scored two runs each.
WESLEY CHAPEL 7, MITCHELL 2
W. Chapel0 0 4 0 0 3 0 = 7 4 3
Mitchell0 2 0 0 0 0 0 = 2 4 3
Miraglia, Thompson (7) and Frost; Games, Kriston (6) and Dietsch. W - Miraglia (1-0). L - Games (1-1). 2B - Mitchell (WC); Brown, Koehler (M). Records - WC 4-0, 2-0; M 3-2, 0-1.