Trinity, ACCS prepare to close seasons
NATCHEZ — As the season winds down for Trinity Episcopal, the experience of a lifetime winds down for head baseball coach Kyle Ketchings.
Ketchings, who also served as defensive coordinator for the Saints’ football team last fall, will be entering his final game as head coach when Trinity plays at Silliman Tuesday. Plans to attend law school will now take priority for Ketchings, but he said he’ll always have positive memories when he looks back on this past school year.
“It’s emotional for me that coaching will end Tuesday,” Ketchings said. “It’s been an awesome experience and something that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. I feel like I’ve gained 20 little brothers.”
Though his time at Trinity is closing, Ketchings said he hasn’t shut the door completely on coaching again one day, whether it’s youth ball or even high school athletics again.
“God has a plan, and I hope it does cross my path again,” he said.
In the meantime, with Trinity (2-12, 1-5) out of the playoff picture, Ketchings said he’s focusing on helping his team go out on a high note to end the season.
“Right now, we’re playing for these seniors,” he said. “For some of them, it will be their last game. It’s going to be a fun but emotional time.”
Adams County Christian School
Like Trinity, ACCS (7-9, 1-4) is out of postseason contention, and head coach Hunter McKeivier said pride is what’s on the line at this point. After facing Wilkinson County Christian Academy today, the Rebels will have one more district game against Brookhaven Academy Friday.
“We’ve been rivals with them for years, so regardless of the records, we expect to come in focused and ready to control the game, and play to the best of our ability,” McKeivier said.
For the seniors, McKeivier said making positive memories should be the focal point as they enter their final high school baseball games.
“Years down the road, they’ll still talk about the memories of playing sports, and you want them to be memories of big wins,” McKeivier said.
Natchez High School
The Bulldogs (4-8 overall) sit at 2-4 in region play with two wins against Forest Hill, three losses to Terry and one loss to Brandon.
NHS will host Brandon Tuesday, and head coach Brian Kossum said he believes his team has what it takes to turn its fortunes around the rest of the way.
“We’re trying to get better day by day, and we really feel like we can play with them now,” Kossum said of his team’s tougher region opponents. “We’ve got confidence, and we feel like we can win.”
With a third-place standing in the region, Kossum said he expects his team is postseason bound.
“I’m assuming, unless Forest Hill pulls off some upsets, that we’ll be in the playoffs,” he said. “We’re going to keep working hard and preparing to win every game.”
Cathedral High School
As if Cathedral’s rivalry with St. Aloysius wasn’t big enough, regional title implications are on the line as both teams are set to square off this week.
Cathedral (10-4 overall) is 3-1 in region, while St. Al sits at 4-0. After today’s game against Porter’s Chapel, Cathedral will travel to St. Al Tuesday before hosting the Flashes Friday.
“It’s always been a big rivalry, but this one will have a little more to it (this week),” Cathedral baseball coach Craig Beesley said. “We have to sweep them to win region, so we have to go up there Tuesday and win for it to set up nicely on Friday.”
After a slow start to the season, Cathedral has picked it up since conference play began, and Beesley credited strong hitting and a turnaround by starter Thomas Garrity for the late-season surge.
“Thomas has really come on and done a good job the last four outings,” Beesley said. “We’ve had some people step up at the plate. Kyle Bradley and Ty Brown have been good all season, but lately Thomas and Andrew Beesley have been hitting well, too.”
Beesley also said he’s expecting a tough two-game series with the Flashes.
“They’re very fundamental, and their pitchers throw strikes and work ahead in the count,” Beesley said. “The outfield will run (balls) down. We’re going to have to manufacture runs, because they won’t give us anything.”