Cathedral starts off slow, scores late to upend Mize in Game 1

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 26, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; The big-inning phenomenon just can’t seem to escape the Cathedral Green Wave.

But this time the Wave overcame it.

For perhaps the first time all season, the Green Wave yielded a big inning, kept pecking away and finally got over the hump to take a 10-8 win over Mize in Game 1 of a best-of-three South State semifinal series Friday at Chester Willis Field.

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The Wave, down four runs on two occasions early in the game, didn’t take the lead until the fifth inning before holding on behind right-hander Jeremy Davis. Game 2 is 7 p.m. tonight at Mize, and Game 3 will be Monday in Natchez if necessary.

&uot;That was a big one to win,&uot; Cathedral head coach Craig Beesley said. &uot;That’s what we talked about &045; we faced adversity the first two innings but we didn’t hang our heads. We kept battling. We left five runners on the first two innings. We kept battling, and finally we got ahead for good.&uot;

And the Green Wave did it while overcoming a slow start. A situation in the second where it had the bases loaded and no outs resulted in one run scoring on a passed ball, but Cathedral delivered with the key hits in the later innings.

The Green Wave chased starter Josh Melton out of the game in the fourth inning before scoring six runs off reliever Adam McAlpin.

&uot;When one guy gets up there and gets that key hit, it’s like a chain reaction,&uot; said third baseman Wyler Murray, who doubled home a run in the third. &uot;People start going. We’re a good enough team to do that. When we have to step up, we can do that. We were able to bounce back.&uot;

Murray’s double was part of a three-run third to tie the score at 5-5 and set the stage, but the Green Wave finally broke through in the fifth after Mize took an 8-7 lead. Andrew Kaiser and John Holleman reached base with no outs, and a Rodney Daggett sacrifice bunt move the runners up.

Michael Blain’s groundout to second scored Kaiser, and Garrett Jones delivered a triple in the gap to score pinch-runner Andrew Ellard for a 9-8 lead.

&uot;They had played him to pull earlier in the game, and they were straight up at that point,&uot; Beesley said of Jones’ triple. &uot;Garrett has good power to right-center field, and that’s where he hit it. That ball went all the way to the fence before they could get to it.&uot;

Chris Norris came up in the sixth and crushed one over the fence just off of dead center for an insurance run and a 10-8 Cathedral lead.

&uot;What hurts is when you don’t throw strikes,&uot; Mize head coach Winston Mullins said. &uot;You can’t let a team get extra baserunners. They’re too good up and down the lineup. He (Melton) had four walks, and that’s more than he’s had in one game all year. We were behind in the count. You’ve got to make them swing at your pitch and not their pitch.&uot;

The Bulldogs, meanwhile, took a 7-5 lead in the second

off Cathedral starter Te Riley when McAlpin singled in two runs and an a8-7 lead in the third when Jasper Adcock singled in Joseph Adcock.

Jasper Adcock’s single came off Davis, but the run was charged to Riley. Davis worked three innings while striking out six, including Chris Sullivan to end the sixth with runners on second and third.

&uot;Jeremy was tough for us tonight,&uot; Beesley said. &uot;He came in there, threw strikes and had a little pop on his fastball. He hasn’t pitched in a while, and I was kind of worried. But he likes to be in that kind of situation when he has control of what’s going on.&uot;