Natchez High School base runner JaDarrius Williams, left, slides safely into third base as Cathedral High School infielder Hayden Nunnery leaps to catch a teammates' throw at Chester Willis Field on Saturday afternoon. NHS won, 14-11. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)
Natchez High School base runner JaDarrius Williams, left, slides safely into third base as Cathedral High School infielder Hayden Nunnery leaps to catch a teammates' throw at Chester Willis Field on Saturday afternoon. NHS won, 14-11. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)

Natchez High holds on to lead against Cathedral, wins 14-11

Published 12:01am Sunday, April 14, 2013

NATCHEZ — This time, Natchez High School was able to maintain its lead.

The Bulldogs faced Cathedral High School in the final game of a three-game afternoon between NHS, Cathedral and Vicksburg High School. After the two teams each played Vicksburg, they squared off in a rematch of their April 5 contest for the final game.

NHS was unable to hold on to an early lead in its 6-5 loss to Cathedral in the April 5 contest, but Saturday afternoon, things fell more in the Bulldogs’ favor. NHS stormed out to a 9-4 advantage, and despite a late surge by the Green Wave, the Bulldogs held on for a 14-11 win in six innings.

“This was one they wanted really bad,” NHS head coach Brian Kossum said. “When we came out here (the last time), we thought we had them then, but Cathedral’s a good team, so you’re never going to truly have them until it’s over. They were able to come back last time, but this time, we stuck with it.”

Cathedral coach Craig Beesley, by contrast, said he was displeased with his team’s effort, especially after falling to Vicksburg 11-8 earlier Saturday afternoon.

“There was a lack of effort, a lack of hustle,” Beesley said. “We just didn’t get after it today. We played some undisciplined baseball this weekend, from Friday night (against St. Aloysius High School) through Saturday evening, and it shows on the scoreboard.”

An RBI triple by Cathedral’s Ty Brown scored the first run of the game in the top of the first. The Green Wave added two more runs when Kyle Bradley doubled in Brown and Zach Flattmann singled in Bradley.

But NHS scored five runs in the bottom of the first and never looked back. Dalvion Jackson scored first on a sacrifice fly by Derrian Johnson. Davion Ward then singled in JaDarrius Williams, and Ward later scored on a wild pitch. A ground-rule double by Shavoke Herrington plated two more runs, and NHS led 5-3 after one.

Cathedral scored another run in the second on an RBI single by Bradley, but NHS plated three more runs in the bottom half of the frame. A sacrifice fly by Ward scored Jackson, and Williams and Johnson both came home on an error to make it 8-4 NHS.

A double by Jackson scored another run for the Bulldogs in the bottom of the third, and Bradley scored on a single by Hayden Nunnery in the top of the fourth to make the score 9-5.

A triple by Ward sent home Johnson in the bottom of the fourth, and Lee Jackson followed it up with a two-run home run, giving NHS a 12-5 lead.

Cathedral slowly crept back in the top of the fifth when Peyton Jenkins came around on a single by Bradley, and Thomas Garrity scored on a fielder’s choice. NHS scored its final two runs in the bottom of the fifth when Dalvion Jackson came home on an error and Johnson scored on a single by Darius Terrell.

The Green Wave added four more runs in the bottom of the sixth, but the game was called because of a two-hour time limit.

Denzel Washington got the win, giving up five runs on 10 hits in four innings of work. Gabe Smith took the loss, surrendering nine runs — six earned — on eight hits in four innings pitched.

Cathedral (11-7) will host Franklin County High School Tuesday, while NHS (5-12) will host Forest Hill Monday.