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Six-run seventh propels Adams Christian over Cathedral

Adams County Christian School baserunner Cody Rhinehart, right, safely steals second base ahead of a tag from Cathedral infielder Andrew Beesley during the game Tuesday evening. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)
Adams County Christian School baserunner Cody Rhinehart, right, safely steals second base ahead of a tag from Cathedral infielder Andrew Beesley during the game Tuesday evening. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Cathedral High School starter Austin Chauvin left his bullpen with a 3-0 lead needing only three outs to secure the win against Adams County Christian School.

Chauvin had a strong showing, giving up just one hit and five walks while striking out 10 Rebel batters. But Chauvin had thrown 94 pitches after six innings, and Cathedral coach Craig Beesley said it was time to go to the pen.

After reliever Thomas Garrity hit Peyton Laird to start the inning, things went downhill quickly for the Green Wave. Garrity hit two more batters, issued one walk and yielded six runs on four hits, and suddenly, Cathedral was trailing 6-3. The Green Wave would go on to lose 6-4, and Beesley said the loss was especially tough after Chauvin’s strong start.

“I made a commitment not to wear out our pitchers’ arms early (in the season),” Beesley said of his decision to pull Chauvin.

“We just couldn’t get out of the sixth. We hit the first batter, then it snowballed from there. In hindsight maybe I should have made some changes before they took the lead, but I thought we could get out of the inning.”

Hayden Nunnery came in relief of Garrity and got ACCS to ground into a double play to end the inning.

ACCS had several baserunners on in multiple innings before the seventh, but the Rebels were unable to get the big hit prior to their outburst.

“Mentally, once we started getting something going, they started believing in themselves,” ACCS head coach Hunter McKeivier said. “When a kid has a belief that they’ll get on base it can be addictive.”

Cathedral had the chance to at least tie the game in the bottom half of the frame. Andrew Beesley scored on a bases-loaded walk to Kyle Bradley, but Chauvin was called out on strikes to end the game.

“I’m trying to teach my kids that nothing will be given to them, that you have to earn it,” McKeivier said. “To see them fight back against a very good Cathedral team that’s well coached, that hopefully sends us on a path to get better every single game.”

Cathedral’s Peyton Jenkins scored first in the bottom of the third inning. After striking out, Jenkins reached first when ACCS catcher Brandon Ross lost the ball in the dirt. Jenkins would later score on a passed ball after ACCS starter Wade Simpson walked Garrity.

Cathedral extended its lead 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth. With Nunnery on second, Simpson struck out the Green Wave’s Jardarius Anderson, then Ross attempted to pick off Nunnery. Instead, the ball sailed into the outfield, sending Nunnery home.

Neither team had a hit until ACCS’s Bradley Jones laced a single in the top of the sixth inning. Jones finished the game 2-for-3, the only multiple hitter for either team. Cathedral’s only hit was a single by Garrity.

Cathedral scored another run in the sixth when Andrew Beesley came home on a bases-loaded walk to Nunnery.

Simpson went seven innings for ACCS to secure the win. He gave up four runs, two earned, on one hit with 14 strikeouts and seven walks.

“Outstanding,” McKeivier said of Simpson. “When you give up one hit and strike out 14 as a sophomore, that’s a sign of a great pitcher. He was definitely the player of the game (for us).”

Craig, meanwhile, said he still looking for a clear No. 2 starter behind Chauvin.

“We’ve got to find more pitchers,” Craig said. “One pitcher won’t be able to carry us through the year. Right now I’m stuck on who our No. 2 guy is. I’ve got some young guys who I believe will step up. I’ve given some guys some chances and haven’t found my No. 2 yet. Austin is definitely the No. 1.”

ACCS (2-4) will host Porter’s Chapel Saturday, while Cathedral (3-2) will host Wilkinson County Christian Academy Thursday.

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