NEW PORT RICHEY — Wesley Chapel's Matt Wynne had a little bit of motivation going into his start versus Ridgewood Tuesday night.
Wynne's uncle, Pete Wynne, played for Ridgewood coach Larry Beets back in the '90s and his family reminded him of the history they had with the Rams. That past helped motivate Wynne to throw a complete game, 90-pitch performance to lift the Wildcats (8-0) to a 5-1 victory over the Rams.
"Rivalry with Ridgewood started when I found out my uncle played for the Rams," Wynne said.
"It's been a rivalry thing ever since and I always want to pitch well against them. My uncle actually kind of fired me up about this game."
The Wildcats took an early 1-0 lead after senior Geoff Degroot singled in junior Zach White from second base. The Rams (3-5) tied the score in the bottom of the second, as senior Ricky Handschumacher scored on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Mettler.
But the Rams did not produce anymore offense, as Wynne limited Ridgewood to five hits and struck out four on the night. Wesley Chapel opened up the game in the top of the sixth inning when Rams starter Austin Tolle walked the first two batters of the inning and the Wildcats capitalized off the walks and score two runs to take a 4-1 lead.
"It's a huge win because we have now played pretty much all the strong teams in our district and played well versus all of them," Wesley Chapel coach Chuck Yingling said.
"When those teams come to play us in district, I think that puts a little bit of pressure on everyone else."