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Cathedral’s Garrity honors late grandmother with pitching gem in playoff win

Brittney Lohmiller | The Natchez Democrat — Cathedral High School  senior Thomas Garrity pitches in the third inning against Noxapater High School in the South State playoff game Thursday evening. Cathedral defeated Noxapater 10-0 in 5 innings due to the 10-run rule.
Brittney Lohmiller | The Natchez Democrat — Cathedral High School senior Thomas Garrity pitches in the third inning against Noxapater High School in the South State playoff game Thursday evening. Cathedral defeated Noxapater 10-0 in 5 innings due to the 10-run rule.

NATCHEZ — Senior Thomas Garrity took the mound in a 10-0 Cathedral High School victory against Noxapater High School Thursday night in the first round of the playoffs with a green wristband that read “do it for her.”

After the passing of his grandmother Ann Elizabeth Garrity on Tuesday, Garrity entered the ballgame with nerves like never before.

“I came out worried and uneasy,” Garrity said. “Nerves is an everyday thing, but it added on to it with my grandmother.”

Once Garrity settled in, he was Picasso and the strike zone was his canvas, fanning eight Noxapater batters to help give Cathedral a 1-0 lead in the best out of three series, following a 10-run rule victory through five innings.

Given his grandmother’s passion for the game, Garrity knows his grandmother would have loved his one-hitter Thursday. After all, his last conversation with his grandmother revolved around the Atlanta Braves.

“I know she was up there watching me, front seat,” Garrity said. “It was a good day for me.”

Cathedral head coach Craig Beesley said Garrity has been talking about pitching in the playoffs all year, and when it came time for Cathedral’s ace to take the rubber, Garrity came up big.

“He’s had a rough time this week, but it seems to relax him when he gets on this baseball field,” Beesley said.

After Garrity struck out two of the first three batters he saw with breaking balls, the Green Wave’s bats caught fire in the bottom of the first.

Following a Garrity single, fellow senior Ty Brown drove him in with a triple. Five hits later, the top of the order came up to bat again as the Green Wave batted around and found themselves with a commanding 7-0 lead after one inning played.

Despite a 2-run home run by Zac Flattmann, who finished the game going 3-for-3, Beesley felt his team let off the gas. After Cathedral scored nine runs in the first two innings, the Green Wave scored just one in the next two.

“We swung the bat well early in the game, but I was a little disappointed we shut it down after the first inning,” Beesley said. “We need to keep the pressure on other teams, and the further we go in the playoffs, we’ve got to add runs later in the game.”

Noxapater’s Manley Peterson didn’t make it out of the first inning after giving up four runs and was relieved by freshman R.J. Pierce, who pitched the remainder of the game.

With a 1-0 advantage, Cathedral travels to play Noxapater for a 4:30 p.m. showdown today, and with a victory, Cathedral will advance to the next round. Should Cathedral lose, the teams will play again in a doubleheader to settle the series.