WESLEY CHAPEL — The best season in school history got even better for Wesley Chapel on Tuesday thanks to a 5-2 win over visiting Nature Coast in a Class 4A region quarterfinal.
The two-time district champion Wildcats (24-3), who extended their school-record single-season win total, got knocked out in the first round of the playoffs twice before.
Now Wesley Chapel hosts Hernando in a region semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday.
"We're still excited about playing," Wildcats coach Chuck Yingling said. "This is the farthest we've traveled (in the postseason)."
Left-handed starter Cole Miraglia (9-1) scattered five hits, struck out 11 and walked four.
"The changeup and fastball were working pretty good," he said.
Miraglia drove in two runs with a single in the third inning and reached on an infield error with two runs scoring in the fifth.
"We've lived off him for three weeks," Yingling said, adding that Miraglia has had 12-15 hits with 10-12 RBIs in recent weeks.
Nature Coast (11-18) got its only lead with a run in the second. Eddie Castro led off with a double and scored on a Justin Tewey single.
But Wesley Chapel came back an inning later with Matt Wynne, who doubled, and Zach White scoring on Miraglia's hit with two outs.
The Sharks made it 2-all with a run in the fifth. Tommy Tambasco doubled home Jose Alonzo, who led off with a walk.
The Wildcats went ahead for good in the bottom of the fifth when Miraglia reached on a two-out infield error. Tambasco mishandled a high chopper at shortstop, allowing David Villarea and White to score.
Wesley Chapel added a run in the sixth on Jeremy Thompson's RBI single that scored Justin Frost, who doubled.