WESLEY CHAPEL — The streak is over for Wesley Chapel, which had its hopes for an unbeaten season dashed Thursday night by crosstown rival Wiregrass Ranch.
The host Bulls defeated the Wildcats 6-1 in a nondistrict game to avenge a 9-8 loss earlier this season.
“To win 19 or 18, whatever they won in a row, how you keep high school players focused for 20 games … Chuck’s done real well,” Wiregrass coach Jeff Swymer said of Wesley Chapel coach Chuck Yingling.
Wiregrass Ranch (16-8) banged out 11 hits and put the game away with four runs on five hits and a walk in the bottom of the second inning. Chris Kluender and Michael Barrone each hit two-run singles in that frame.
The Wildcats (20-1) had ample opportunities to score, loading the bases three times but coming away with just one run in the fifth when Geoff DeGroot singled and scored on a base hit by Chris Dominguez.
The Bulls nearly got out of that bases-loaded, no-out jam when starter John Michael Gant fielded a comebacker to the mound off the bat of pinch-hitter Sebastian Ferreiras and turned it into a 1-2-3 double play.
“We go as Gant goes,” Swymer said. “He got out of a lot of jams.”
Gant also struck out Cody Hodgens with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth. In the sixth, Bulls reliever Ryan Kopenski induced an infield popup by Brandon Mumaw to get out of a bases-loaded, two-out situation.