Cathedral holds on to down St. Al

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 7, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Under the circumstances Jeremy Davis was in, he had to be the man.

On a cold night to open the season and the team’s top pitcher out with a sore shoulder, Davis had to come in relief for the Cathedral Green Wave in the second inning and had a pitch limit of 100.

So he exceeded that, but no bother. His best stuff came at the end as the Green Wave held off St. Aloysius 12-11 to open the season with a win over its archrival.

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&uot;I’m definitely tired,&uot; said Davis, who came in with one out in the second in relief of starter Te Riley. &uot;My back has been sore a little bit, and my leg was sore. You can’t really feel your arm. I knew I had to finish it out.

&uot;My pitch count was 117. I didn’t really realize it, but when coach told me I was like, ‘Whoa.’&uot;

Davis settled down a shaky night for Cathedral pitching &045; both teams, as a matter of fact &045; but came with his best pitches late in the game. The Flashes scored in the first five innings, but Davis notched three strikeouts in the final two innings after Cathedral punched just three St. Al batters out up until then.

Davis got leadoff Charlie Amborn to strike out to end the sixth, and he fanned cleanup hitter Walker Hengst to end the game with the tying run stranded at second base.

&uot;He settled down,&uot; said Cathedral head coach Craig Beesley, who notched his first win as a head coach. &uot;We wanted to hold him to 100 pitches, but at the end I told him to suck it up. I told Coach (Ken) Beesley in the sixth inning their No. 1 batter came up that was good. That was the batter I was worried about.&uot;

The situation could have been much worse in that seventh inning had Michael Blain not come up with a gem in left field. Chad Cox reached base on an error with one out before Rob Jones ripped one down the third base line.

Blain then threw to Wyler Murray, who put the tag on Cox for the second out of the inning.

&uot;That was a big play,&uot; St. Al head coach Joe Graves said. &uot;I thought he was there, but the umpires saw it the other way. At home, that’s how it’s supposed to go. That’s what happened. Maybe at out place we would have gotten that call and had runners at second and third and been in business.

&uot;Last year we played down to the wire in the South State championship, and it hasn’t gotten any different. They’ve got a good ball club, and we’ve got a good ball club.&uot;

The play was big, and it helped the Green Wave’s bats since they scored in every inning but the sixth. But they were steady for the first six innings by banging out 12 hits against three different St. Al pitchers.

Blain ended up having the game-winning hit in the sixth when he singled in Murray off reliever Any Wyles to break an 11-11 tie.

&uot;I was pleased with the way we swung the bats,&uot; Beesley said. &uot;The first time out pitching is normally ahead of the hitting, but it wasn’t like that tonight. I was pleased with the way we hit the left-hander they started. Then they came in with that off-speed pitcher, and we hit the ball hard but just right at people. Those balls will start falling.&uot;

The Green Wave got rolling early off St. Al starter Jason Brown with three in the first and four in the second. David had a triple that scored Chris Norris in the first, and Murray singled home two in the third as the Green Wave led 7-6 heading into the second.

&uot;I’ve got a lot of new faces in the lineup,&uot; Graves said. &uot;Both teams hit the ball hard. Jason was one of the ones that made it to the satellite round in basketball. Then I brought a 10th-grader (Wyles)_ in, and he had never been in that situation. Then I brought in my No. 2 pitcher (Alex Frisbee), and he did a good job.&uot;

The Flashes, however, put runs on the board early after taking advantage of a rough start by Cathedral left-hander Te Riley. The Flashes scored six runs in the first two innings off one hit and eight walks to lead 6-3 heading into the bottom of the second.

&uot;Te just got off to a bad start and was pressing to throw,&uot; Beesley said. &uot;He’ll be all right. He’s just got to relax. Throwing strikes is the name of the game at time of the year.&uot;