St. Al tops Cathedral to capture 7-1A
By Ernest Bowker
The Vicksburg Post
VICKSBURG — Cathedral’s decade of division dominance ended at the hands of its biggest rival Tuesday night.
The Green Wave fought back from an early six-run deficit to get within one, but couldn’t get over the hump and lost 9-8 to Catholic school rival St. Aloysius.
The victory gave St. Al the Division 7-1A championship and ended an 10-year run of first-place finishes for Cathedral. The last time Cathedral didn’t win the division was in 2002, when it was the runner-up to St. Al.
The teams will play again Friday night in Natchez. Cathedral needs to win to secure second place in the division.
“I know we’re in the playoffs. It just depends on whether we’re second or third,” Cathedral coach Craig Beesley said. “We’re just glad to be in the playoffs. We’re real young and some of these older kids have stepped up for us and been leaders. If we can get some playoff experience for these kids, that’ll be good. Maybe we can get hot in the playoffs and make a run at it. You never know.”
Thomas Garrity and Austin Chauvin each went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI for Cathedral, which stumbled out of the gate.
St. Al scored in each of the first three innings to take an 8-2 lead. Drake Dorbeck had an RBI doubled in the first inning and scored a run, while Patrick Murphy doubled and scored a run in the second inning and Will Pierce did the same in the third.
“They swung the bats real well early in the game. Even the balls that we were getting them out, they were squaring them up pretty good,” Beesley said. “I’m proud of my guys for the way they fought back. We could’ve folded the tent when we were down 8-2, but we kept battling back and put some pressure on them late in the game.”
Cathedral, however, took advantage of a few mistakes by the Flashes to claw its way back into the game.
Jordarius Anderson doubled in a run in the top of the fourth, and a two-out error allowed two more runs to score. Garrity had an RBI double in the fifth to cut it to 8-6, and another error brought in Chauvin to cut the deficit to a run. Garrity was thrown out while trying to score from second, however, and the missed opportunity haunted the Green Wave.
St. Al escaped the fifth inning without further damage, then the teams traded unearned runs in the sixth to leave the Flashes up 9-8. St. Al pitcher Patrick Murphy closed out a complete game with his only 1-2-3 inning of the night to lock down the win.
“The biggest thing that won that game for us was we never panicked,” St. Al coach Derrik Boland said.
“There was never any look in their eyes like, ‘Hey this ain’t going to be good.’ They still got up there, fought and competed the whole game. To get where we’re at right now that’s what you’ve got to do.”