Cathedral uses big second inning to beat Harrisonburg

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 14, 2005

VIDALIA &045; Cathedral got a slow start, but the Green Wave offense came alive to beat Harrisonburg on the opening day of the Vidalia Tournament Thursday night.

&uot;We came out slow in the game against Monterey Tuesday and we came out kind of slow against tonight,&uot; Cathedral’s Jeremy Davis said.

Cathedral went on to get a 7-2 win.

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&uot;We’re struggling on offense and defense right now, but we’re still finding ways to win,&uot; Cathedral head coach Craig Beesley said.

In the second inning of a time-limited game that went just four innings, the Green Wave broke things wide open with a six-run outburst. Cathedral trailed 2-1 coming into the inning, but took advantage of some timely hitting and some Harrisonburg miscues to take over.

Cathedral had two outs to start the second but then got things going, sending 11 batters to the plate. Jesse Morrison started things with a walk. Preston Hicks got a double and both players scored on an unusual play on Andrew Ellard’s ground ball to short. Cathedral scored the runs courtesy of a Harrisonburg error when a ball thrown to first soared over the first baseman’s head and towards the Harrisonburg dugout.

Part of the dugout at Vidalia’s field is screened over with chain link fencing. By ground rules, any throw that hits that fencing in considered to have gone into the dugout, allowing baserunners to advance.

Hicks and Morrison scored and Ellard went to second. Jeremy Davis knocked him home with a single and the rout was on. Cathedral scored three more runs in the inning.

&uot;We started hitting and hitting is contagious,&uot; Davis said. &uot;They made some errors and we got a rally going.&uot;

All in all, Cathedral had eight consecutive batters reach base with two outs in the inning and scored six runs, all but putting the game out of reach.

Neither team scored in the third inning and the game almost ended there. There were three minutes left until the time deadline to start a final inning, so Harrisonburg came to the plate one final time. Alex Middleton relieved Cathedral starter Zach Calhoun to end the game.

Harrisonburg had just three hits in the game but did have a number of baserunners thanks to some walks and errors by Cathedral.

&uot;We had plenty of runners on base. I think we left eight or nine guys on,&uot; Harrisonburg head coach Jeffrey Odom said. &uot;We just needed a hit at a certain moment and we couldn’t get it done.&uot;

Calhoun struggled early, allowing two Harrisonburg runs in the first inning when he walked three consecutive batters, but he seemed to settle down after that. Calhoun had six strikeouts in three innings of work.

&uot;I think he was a little too pumped up,&uot; Beesley said. &uot;He played with a lot of these guys in summer ball and I think he was trying to show something.&uot;

Beesley said three of his pitchers, Davis, Hicks and Chris Rasco are suffering from minor injuries, putting the Green Wave pitching staff in an awkward situation. In a tournament, having enough pitching for several games in one weekend can be tough even for a fully healthy staff.

&uot;We’re a little down on pitching with those guys hobbling around, but we’ll make it,&uot; Beesley said.

Davis said the team still needs to work on improving its defense. Defensive miscues led to both Harrisonburg runs in the first inning.

&uot;We’re not making some routine plays,&uot; Davis said. &uot;We’ll go practice and work on trying to correct that.&uot;