Wave yields big inning but regroups to put away Natchez High

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 12, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Even when the game meant very little, the Cathedral Green Wave still found itself in a precarious spot Saturday.

It was the same kind of situation the Wave got itself into during the third inning of Thursday’s loss at St. Aloysius. After taking an early lead, Natchez High rallied and got the bases loaded with one out to put itself right back into the game.

Cathedral knew it all too well &045; giving up the one big inning.

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So the Wave stopped the bleeding, answered with a big inning of its own and held on for a 12-4 win over the Bulldogs in the its final regular season game. Cathedral opens the 1A playoffs Wednesday at St. Aloysius, and the Bulldogs will play Cathedral’s JV on Monday.

&uot;We’ve had that happen so many times,&uot; said Cathedral’s Jeremy Davis, who sparked a fourth-inning rally with a two-run homer. &uot;We normally have an inning where we a team will score about four or five runs off us, but we came back in and got the bats going again. In the playoffs if we can keep other teams from having those big innings, we’ll be in good shape.&uot;

It was Davis’ homer that provided spark to a somewhat flat afternoon at Chester Willis Field. The Bulldogs cut the lead to two but managed just one hit off three Cathedral relievers in the final four innings.

In the meantime the Green Wave kept the pressure on the Bulldogs with three in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the sixth while finishing the game with 12 hits. Natchez starting right-hander Drew Kossum was charged with 11 runs.

&uot;I think he was a little winded,&uot; Natchez High head coach Charlie Williams said. &uot;But they’ve got a good hitting team. I’m not taking anything away from them. Each time I’ve seen them they’ve hit the ball. We were expecting that, but we didn’t expect to lose that bad. We gave it our best shot, and we’ll get ready for next year.&uot;

The hits really started to come in the fourth when Davis popped a two-run homer to left after Michael Blain led off the inning by reaching base on an error. Te Riley followed with a double, and Wyler Murray doubled him home for a 9-4 lead.

&uot;It was a curveball, and he kind of left it up in the zone,&uot; Davis said of his third homer of the year and second in two games. &uot;He had thrown one earlier, and I took it because we had a guy stealing. I just got the meat of the bat on it, and it went out.&uot;

In the fifth Andrew Kaiser doubled to lead off and scored on a Michael Blain single, and Garrett Jones doubled in Blain for an 11-4 lead. In the sixth Brent Tosspon reached on an error and scored on a Michael Blain single.

&uot;I was pleased to see Jeremy come back in and hit that two-run home run,&uot;

Cathedral head coach Craig Beesley said. &uot;They had fought back on us, and I was pleased to see that homer. That got us going again. Now we can start getting ready for the playoffs and turn it on next week.&uot;

The Bulldogs got the four runs in the third off Cathedral starter Tosspon. DaMorris Merrick scored on an error, and Matt Henderson singled in Jason Hayes to cut the lead to 6-2. Kossum singled in Leon Stewart, and Tosspon hit Larry Brown with the bases loaded to bring in Henderson.

Beesley then pulled Tosspon for left-hander Chris Norris, who got two strikeouts to end the inning.

&uot;We’re so leery of curveballs and pitchers who pitch curveballs,&uot; Williams said. &uot;I was telling the kids that were up there, ‘Look curve of fastball.’ You could see what they would do. They stood there and looked at the third strike. We’ll start getting ready for next year on Tuesday. They’re going to be seeing curveballs in their sleep. That’s all they’re going to hit from now on.&uot;

Norris may have had one of his better outings on the season, but the Wave used two more pitchers to close the door. Norris walked one and didn’t allow a hit, while Garrett Jones and Corey Walker each threw a scoreless inning.

Jones walked Charles Cothern and gave up a single to C.J. Wright with one out but got the next two hitters on flyouts. Walker put Henderson on a walk but got Kossum to fly out and stuck out Jason Williamson to end the game.

&uot;I wanted to get all our pitchers some work in before the playoffs,&uot; Beesley said. &uot;I was pleased with Chris coming in with the bases loaded and getting out of that inning. He could have gone longer, but I wanted to see Garrett and Corey throw some. We had planned it out before the game we would go two, three and two (innings), but it came out a little different. I wanted to put Corey back in after what happened at St. Al.&uot;

The Green Wave scored three in the first and second innings to take a 6-0 lead. Murray doubled in two runs in the first, and Jones and Davis each had run-scoring singles in the second.