Cathedral swamps Greenville-St. Joe to advance to championship series

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 31, 2004

Delta Democrat Times

GREENVILLE &045; It was a fun ride while it lasted, but the wheels came off the Irish bandwagon at Legion Field.

Corey Walker pitched a complete game, striking out seven as Cathedral (27-4) won the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 1A South State championship, concluding a two-game sweep of St. Joseph (22-8) with a 10-4 win on Monday.

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In the final series, Cathedral faces Houlka, who won North State in two games against East Webster as well Monday.

&uot;(Pitcher) Ben Maddox kept us in the game, scattering some hits,&uot; St. Joseph head coach Kenny Wolf said. &uot;But we made two errors behind him, then didn’t produce at the plate.&uot;

The Green Wave won 15-5 in the first game of the series Saturday, scoring seven runs in the first inning.

&uot;We put the pressure on them early, scoring in the first inning,&uot; Cathedral head coach Craig Beesley said.

&uot;They made some good plays, but we kept the pressure on them the whole game.&uot;

It looked to be another blowout early. With two out, Garrett Jones scored on a Te Riley triple to center field for the game’s first run.

Wyler Murray followed with an RBI single to left. Murray attempted to steal, but Irish catcher Travis Webster ended the inning by throwing him out at second.

Max Freeman doubled to start the bottom of the first and scored on a single by Jamie Montgomery, cutting the lead to 2-1. But the Irish wouldn’t score another run until the fifth.

Cathedral’s batters all moved up in the box to face the lone St. Joseph senior, hoping to force his hand.

&uot;We knew he was an off-speed pitcher,&uot; Beesley said. &uot;We were hoping we could get him to throw fastballs by moving up.

&uot;He stayed with his curve ball and kept us off balance early in the game.&uot;

&uot;We figured out last game that they were good fastball hitters,&uot; Maddox said. &uot;I had to throw junk, but I didn’t throw as many as I wanted for strikes.&uot;

Cathedral got two single to start the second, but didn’t score as Webster threw out Preston Hicks at second, and Charlie Lane was caught off third base.

&uot;We lost some chances in the second inning,&uot; Beesley said. &uot;I thought we could have broken the game open right there.&uot;

The Green Wave would have to wait until the third inning when Jeremy Davis hit a two-out home run to left field and Riley doubled off the left-field wall. Riley scored after a Maddox wild pitch and passed ball, making the score 4-1.

Cathedral plated three more runs before the Irish had their best scoring opportunity. With one out in the fifth, Freeman tripled to right and both Ben and

Sam Maddox walked to load the bases. Jamie Montgomery’s single up the middle scored two, putting runners at first and second.

A diving Riley snagged Cayne Boykin’s grounder down the first base line. He touched first, and then threw to Jones who tagged Montgomery for an inning-ending double play.

&uot;I thought that was the turning point of the game,&uot; Beesley said. &uot;They could have cut the lead to two runs.&uot;

Up 7-3, Hicks led off the sixth with a single and Andrew Ellard followed with a single to left. A Jones’ single scored Hicks, and Davis brought Ellard and Jones home with a triple to center.

The Irish mounted one last charge in the bottom of the sixth. Layne Boykin scored on a single by Johnathan Martin, but with runners at first and third, Ben Maddox struck out to end the inning.

&uot;We played our hearts out,&uot; Maddox said. &uot;We just didn’t hit the ball as well as they did.

&uot;They have a really good team,&uot; he added. &uot;They’re probably going to win State.&uot;

&uot;I still say we had a great season,&uot; Wolf said. &uot;I wouldn’t take anything from my team and I think we’ll be back next year.&uot;