Cathedral High School sophomore Craig Bradley, from left, junior Sam Parker and junior Andrew Beesley were all a part of last year’s team that went to the state championship and were invited to participate in the 2014 Mississippi Elite Underclassmen Showcase. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)
Cathedral High School sophomore Craig Bradley, from left, junior Sam Parker and junior Andrew Beesley were all a part of last year’s team that went to the state championship and were invited to participate in the 2014 Mississippi Elite Underclassmen Showcase. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Cathedral underclassmen showcase skills on state level

Published 12:06am Monday, August 4, 2014

NATCHEZ — In his first at bat in the 2014 Mississippi Elite Underclassmen Showcase, Cathedral High School’s Andrew Beesley blew a kiss to the opposing pitcher as he settled into the batter’s box.

Staring back at Beesley on July 23 in the battle between the Class of 2016 all-stars was a familiar face. Cathedral teammate Sam Parker shook off Beesley’s attempt to rattle him and delivered the pitch.

“I tried to get in his head,” Beesley said, laughing.

As fate would have it, Parker, who pitched only one inning in the eight-inning contest because of the amount of pitchers that rotated in, would get his opportunity to pitch in the third inning when Beesley was making the first of his two at bats.

“I was trying not to laugh,” Parker said. “It was weird.”

In his one inning pitched, Parker gave up no runs, no hits, struck out two and walked one batter — Beesley. Parker said Beesley got an easy steal on him, as well.

“My catcher dropped the ball and it was under him while he was looking all around for it,” Parker said. “I was like, ‘he’s gone.’ He stole second pretty easily.”

Beesley went 1-for-1 with a single, while Parker went 1-for-3 with two walks in the game, and neither player would reveal the score. They did, however, admit that Parker’s team reached double-digits in the blowout victory.

“It was a lot to a little, let’s just put it like that,” Beesley said.

This is the first year of the Mississippi Elite Underclassmen Showcase, where coaches voted to have players from respective schools attend the event. Players from the class of 2015 and 2016 played two games on July 23, where players were divided in each class to form two teams, while players from 2017 and 2018 played the following day. After Cathedral teammates Parker and Beesley performed, sophomore Craig Bradley represented the school on one of the Class of 2017 squads.

Bradley made the most of his experience by going 2-for-3 with two singles, two RBIs and a stolen base. Bradley said his team tied with the other 2017 team 9-9.

Win, lose or draw, each player agreed that it was a great chance to challenge themselves against fierce competition across the state.

“It was a great experience for us,” Bradley said.

Cathedral’s Zac Flattmann received an invite to attend the event also, but Flattmann opted to continue playing with his tournament team instead.

Getting four Green Wave invites to an event that featured some of the best baseball talent in Mississippi thrilled head coach Craig Beesley, and it has him excited for the future.

“I think it’s an amazing feat to have that many players invited,” Beesley said. “It means a lot that these coaches think that much of our players.”

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