At University of Tampa
• Wharton 4, Gaither 1
Pitcher of the day
Wharton starter Mike Gonzalez threw 6 1/3 innings, allowing only one run on eight hits. He struck out three and walked three but unseen in the stat line was Gonzalez’s escape from jams. The Cowboys had runners in scoring position all six innings where they didn’t score; Gonzalez worked out of all six. “He (Gonzalez) is a battler; he really wiggles his way out of stuff,” Wildcats coach Scott Hoffman said. “He’s done that all year, even when we haven’t had the run support.”
Hitter of the day
Wildcats senior Ryan Lawson was 2-for-4 with two RBIs. He saw a pitch he liked from reliever Hansel Taveras in the seventh inning and knocked it over the leftfield wall. It extended the lead to 4-1 and helped secure Pool G for the Wildcats. “He (Taveras) left a fastball over the plate,” Lawson said. “I sat back on it and drove it.”
Defensive gems of the day
This was a draw between the Wharton infield’s 5-4-3 double play that ended the fifth inning and two great catches from leftfielder Matt McLaughlin. In the second inning McLaughlin ran down a deeply hit foul ball to close out the inning with a runner at second base. The other catch ended the game with the bases loaded in the seventh. The hit by Chris Minor sent McLaughlin racing to the wall, where he finally corralled it at the warning track.
Did you know?
Gonzalez pitched his 6 1/3 innings on a sore hamstring.
“Guys are going out there and doing their jobs. We’re using a lot of freshmen that are going out there and getting valuable experience.” — Hoffman