By BILL POWERS
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 27, 2002
Four teams, two games, two completely different outcomes.
Gaither won a wild one in the nightcap while King easily beat Wharton in the opener Tuesday in the completion of Monday night's rainouts.
Chamberlain was three outs from victory and a chance at advancing as a wild card, but a wild seventh inning helped Gaither remain unbeaten in the Blue Division with an 8-4 win.
Trailing 4-3, the Cowboys took advantage of two walks and a single to load the bases. Nick Palzzolo drew an RBI walk to tie the game and then Jason Baroff's chopper to third led to a two-base error that blew the game open.
Clay Spivey fielded Baroff's bouncer cleanly and threw home for the force out, but the throw pulled Rocky Rocamora off the plate. Rocamora then threw to first in an attempt to complete the double play, but his throw sailed high and another run scored.
Brendan Domaracki then doubled home his second run of the night and Chris Pagliuca followed with a sacrifice fly for the Cowboys' final run.
Gaither grabbed the lead in the fourth with two runs, but the Chiefs rallied for three in the bottom half.
Gaither scored in the top of the fifth to knot the game at 3, but again the Chiefs answered with the go-ahead run when Steve Howard reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and scored on a single by Mike Garcia.
In the opener, King and Wharton completed their game, postponed from Monday night.
King led 1-0 and added another run when play resumed on an RBI single by Stephen Locke. Locke also did the work on the mound, throwing a complete game as King remained perfect with a 6-1 win.
Locke, a sophomore left-hander, didn't walk a batter, struck out seven and scattered seven hits.
"He's around the plate and he throws all his pitches for strikes," King coach Jim Macaluso said.
"And he's very poised for a sophomore. We're not afraid to throw him out there."