Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ace Brett up to challenge for Wharton

TAMPA — The resume that Wharton junior pitcher Kyle Brett has put together in his past two outings simply has to have the other teams in the Class 6A-8 district a little worried.

Brett entered Friday's district game at Plant having earned a complete-game win against another district foe, defending 6A state champion Alonso, just six days earlier.

And at Wade Boggs Field on Friday, he gave a comparable encore, throwing his second straight complete-game victory as the Wildcats beat the Panthers 2-1. Wharton (6-5, 3-2) beat Plant for the second time, both times foiled by Brett's mix of fastballs and breaking balls.

"He gives us a chance to win every time he's on the mound," Wharton coach Scott Hoffman said. "There are no easy games in this district by any stretch of the imagination. He's the guy who is carrying us right now."

Wharton is 4-1 in games Brett has started — all five outings have been quality starts, never fewer than six innings and more than three earned runs.

"We've kind of struggled without him there," Wharton senior catcher Cory Nelson said. "It's like we're a different ball club when he's not on the mound."

Brett yielded just five hits and one run, but needed a top-of-the-seventh Wharton rally to get the win. Paced by Nelson's one-out double, the Wildcats scored the winning run on Nick Kranick's fielder's choice.

Brett (3-1, 1.75 ERA) also got help from Wildcats leftfielder and No. 9 hitter Taylor Poole, whose leadoff double in the fifth led to Wharton's first run. Poole also threw out a runner at home plate in the third that prevented Plant from going ahead 2-0.

"They're good, but when we're playing our best we can play with them all," Brett said. "We can play with anybody. I just tried to hold them as long as I could and hope we could score some runs."

Plant (4-6, 1-5) didn't help itself on the basepaths. Nelson threw out a pair of runners stealing second, and a popped-up bunt attempt led to a double play in the fifth.

But the night belonged to Brett, who after throwing just 10 innings last season, has become Wharton's unquestioned ace.

"I know what to call when he's pitching," said Nelson, his senior catcher. "Some of the younger guys, it's kind of tough to figure out what they can throw. I can call a 3-2 curveball with (Brett) any day. I have no lack of confidence in him."

Ace Brett up to challenge for Wharton 03/19/10 [Last modified: Friday, March 19, 2010 11:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting


    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  2. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  3. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  4. This Tampa Bay Lightning wing rides the newest wave of fan interaction

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There are photos of Lightning fan Shaun Egger as a toddler at center ice at the then-Thunderome, aka Tropicana Field. He's played in the Lightning's high school hockey league for Palm Harbor University. But his closest personal encounter with players had been waving through a crowd after a training camp …

    Tampa Bay Lightning player J.T. Brown wears his anti UV glasses as he talks over the headset with a hockey fan while they play against each other on line in an XBOX NHL video game in Brown's game room at his home in south Tampa. The fan chose to be the Washington Capitals and Brown, of course, was the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brown interacts with fans through video game systems as he streams the games live on Twitch with plans for the proceeds to go to charity.
  5. ‘Biggest fight' behind her, Petra Kvitova returns ahead of schedule


    PARIS — Five months after a home invader's knife sliced into her left hand, Petra Kvitova will return to competitive tennis at the French Open, a last-minute decision to make her comeback earlier than expected.

    Petra Kvitova adjusts her hair during a news conference at Roland Garros Stadium, where she will make her tennis return at the French Open. Kvitova's left hand was badly injured by a knife-wielding intruder in December; she has recovered ahead of schedule. [Associated Press]