Wildcat shakes off slump against district rival Bulls

By ROD GIPSON Times Correspondent
Published March 1, 2007

TAMPA - George Capote was struggling, to put it mildly.

The senior shortstop had seven strikeouts in his first four games this season. That to go along with his three errors in the field.

But if Wednesday night's performance is any indication, his struggles may be over.

Capote made two outstanding defensive plays and smashed a two-run home run to deep centerfield to lead Wharton 4-1 over Bloomingdale in a key early-season Class 5A, District 8 matchup.

"(Capote) came through tonight," Wharton coach Scott Hoffman said. "He works hard and he's been tough on himself. Every ballplayer goes through things like that and he redeemed himself."

And in the process, he helped Wharton improve to 4-1, 3-1 in the district. Bloomingdale is 4-2 and 3-1, and Armwood leads the district race at 3-0.

The Wildcats opened scoring in the second inning when Joe Evans scored on Andre Dawson's single to leftfield. An inning later after Greg Schueller reached base on a walk, Wharton added two runs on Capote's towering home run.

Wharton pitcher Vinny Lally kept Bloomingdale scoreless over the first 32/3 innings, twice working out of jams with runners on third base. Lally struck out four and made way for Derrick Stultz, who fanned five.

Dawson, Evans and Adrian Martinez each had two hits for the Wildcats and Evans scored twice.

"This was a big win for us," Hoffman said. "Anytime you win in the district it's big, but it's big for us because we were able to bounce back from losing to Armwood last week."

Wharton 4

Blooming. 1