Green Wave sends five to All-Region honors
NATCHEZ — The Cathedral School baseball team overcame a slow start to the 2012 season to put together a monster second-half that ended just one win shy of capturing a South State Championship.
In the process, Cathedral captured another Region 7-1A championship and five players that were instrumental to the team’s success were named First-Team All Region.
Seniors Caleb Upton and Blake Martin were joined by underclassmen Kyle Bradley, Austin Chauvin and Thomas Garrity on the All-Region Team, and head coach Craig Beesley said those five players really made things happen for the Green Wave this season.
“Those five carried us offensively,” Beesley said. “We had three of our top pitchers in that group, and we depended a lot on pitching and the top of our order.”
Upton played a key role as both starting catcher and pitcher for Cathedral this season, and he said he took pride in making All-Region.
“It was kind of a feeling of accomplishment,” he said. “I set out here hoping to kind of carry the team, and I guess it gave me a little sense of accomplishment.”
Upton received additional honors as the First-Team All-State catcher and will play in the MHSAA All-Star Game in June.
Upton said making such a mark in his senior season was special, but he was more impressed with the way the Green Wave faced the early-season adversity.
“The thing I was most proud of was how the team came together, and how we carried ourselves along the way,” he said.
Blake Martin was a fixture on the mound for Cathedral this season, and his performance not only earned him All-Region honors but also a Second-Team All-State nomination.
“I couldn’t have done it without my defense,” Martin said. “Our defense stepped up a lot at the end of the year, and I guess it took a lot of pressure off me.”
Martin said Cathedral’s playoff run felt good, because the Green Wave had doubts early in the season.
“It felt good to make it that far considering at the beginning of the year nobody thought we could make the playoffs,” he said. “But if you work hard you can make it.”
Junior Kyle Bradley was the team’s biggest run producer this season, and he said he accepted that role when it was given to him.
“I started out slow, but I started hitting better at the end of the season,” he said. “(As cleanup batter) you get a lot of RBI chances, and you got to step up and do it.”
Junior Austin Chauvin said he was honored to make the All-Region Team, but he was real proud of how many Cathedral players were honored.
“It’s real nice (to have five named),” he said. “We had a really good squad this year.”
Chauvin said making All-Region as a junior would not add any pressure next season but would give him confidence to try to go for more.
“I don’t really worry about it,” he said. “I’m going for All-State next year, but it’s not something I am thinking about. I just go out and do my best.”
Garrity was the youngest member of the Green Wave to make All-Region. But the sophomore was a jack-of-all-trades this season for Cathedral. He played outfield, became the team’s No. 2 pitcher and batted leadoff.
“Ever since Dixie Youth I played as many positions as I can,” Garrity said.
Garrity said he did not thing he would pitch as much this season as he did, however.
“I didn’t think I’d be as lethal as I was,” he said.
Beesley said Garrity pitched excellent in one of Cathedral’s biggest games of the season against Bogue Chitto.
“Going into it I was nervous, because there was a lot of pressure. It was one of the biggest games,” Garrity said. “But I threw a one-hit shutout against the No. 1 team in the region.”
Garrity said his nomination would give him a boost heading into his junior season.
“It gives me a lot of confidence, because I realize that I could do it as a sophomore. I’m not the little guy anymore.”
Beesley said having three of the team’s top players returning would help next season.
“The ones that are coming back we are expecting big things from them next year,” Beesley said. “We hate to lose Caleb and Blake. They were a big part of the team, so we will have to have some younger guys step up.”