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Cathedral falls to rival St. Al, must win tonight for title

brittney lohmiller | The Natchez Democrat Josh Brown of St. Aloysius High School slides back to first base before Cathedral pitcher Thomas Garrity can throw the ball to Zac Flattman in the fourth inning of Cathedral’s game against Thursday evening at Chester Willis Field. St. Aloysius defeated Cathedral 8-1.
brittney lohmiller | The Natchez Democrat
Josh Brown of St. Aloysius High School slides back to first base before Cathedral pitcher Thomas Garrity can throw the ball to Zac Flattman in the fourth inning of Cathedral’s game against Thursday evening at Chester Willis Field. St. Aloysius defeated Cathedral 8-1.

NATCHEZ — Following an 8-1 defeat to St. Aloysius High School Thursday, the Cathedral Green Wave must beat its rival tonight to claim a district championship.

Cathedral’s Andrew Beesley created a spark in the first inning with one out with a double down the left field line, but after a strikeout and base-running blunder, the inning ended suddenly.

“We didn’t show up ready to play tonight, mentally or emotionally,” Cathedral head coach Craig Beesley said. “We had opportunities to take advantage of early in the game and we didn’t. It was all downhill from there.”

Things began to unravel for the Green Wave in the fifth inning. Down 2-0, Cathedral pitcher Thomas Garrity, who pitched all seven innings, caused a routine ground ball that was mishandled with no on and two outs. St. Aloysius took advantage. After loading the bases, patience in the batters box allowed the Flashes to add another run before Ben Welp drove in an RBI single to take a 4-0 advantage.

Welp threw a complete game, striking out seven and allowing sound defense behind him to collect outs. Meanwhile, Connor Smith collected four total RBIs with two singles and a sacrifice fly.

“We knew they would put the ball in play and put the pressure on us,” Beesley said. “We made errors, but hopefully we can clean that up and throw the baseball around a little better in the rematch.”

St. Aloysius had eight hits and only one error in the victory, while Cathedral committed four errors, two wild pitches and totaled five hits.

Because of the loss, Cathedral and St. Aloysius will rematch with a district championship in the balance for both teams.

Beesley expects his team to show up with urgency tonight.

“It’s frustrating that we didn’t take advantage when we had everything to play for, but that’s the good thing about baseball,” Beesley said. “We get to get back at it tomorrow and not sit around talking about it.”

The first pitch for the varsity contest will be at 7 p.m. in Vicksburg.