Green Wave beats up on Bears

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 14, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; The final score could have been plenty closer, and the decision would be just as hard if not harder.

There’s a decision to be made for Cathedral’s No. 2 starter, and Zack Calhoun put forth his best effort Tuesday in a four-inning 16-0 win over West Lincoln. For a team that came into the season having one experienced starter and a bunch of question marks, the Green Wave may be better off than anticipated.

Calhoun had pop on his fastball along with a steady curveball to keep the Bears guessing a bit at the plate three nights after sophomore Patrick McDonough was solid in the mound against Brookhaven.

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&uot;I planned on pitching him a little bit this past weekend, but Patrick was doing well,&uot; Cathedral head coach Craig Beesley said. &uot;I didn’t want to take Patrick out, and this was Zack’s turn. He pitched well. If he throws like that and Patrick McDonough throws like he threw, that’ll give us two more good pitchers. Our pitching is starting to come around, and I’m pleased with what we’ve done so far.&uot;

Calhoun had plenty of room to work with after the first inning when the Green Wave (1-0, 6-1) put up six runs to take quick command of the Division

7-1A opener. But Calhoun may have set the tone by striking out the side in the first inning &045; he got the leadoff man looking and didn’t go three balls into the count.

The Bears (0-1, 2-3) had just two hits. Calhoun got eight of his 15 outs on strikeouts and walked only one.

&uot;We’ve got a bunch of young kids,&uot; West Lincoln head coach Keith Cline said. &uot;I started four eighth-graders, four juniors and one senior. Their pitcher did a great job of throwing strikes. We just had trouble hitting the ball tonight. When you play a team like Cathedral, you’d better be ready to swing the bat and be ready to play.&uot;

Calhoun had plenty of room to work after the Green Wave took a 6-0 lead after one and put up four in the second for a 10-0 lead. The Bears got their only base on balls in the second when Robby Deer led off, but he was forced out on Shane Lynch’s grounder up the middle.

James Magee singled in the fourth and went to second on an error, but Calhoun got the next two batters to strike out to end the inning.

&uot;He had control of his fastball and his curveball,&uot; Beesley said. &uot;If he can keep his curveball working, he’s going to be a good pitcher for us. We came in and were expecting a big game tonight, and we relied on him to do a good job. I don’t know how hard he was throwing, but I’d say he was in the low to mid-80s. It made his curveball look that much better.&uot;

It just wasn’t what Cline wanted to see with his club. The Bears struggled against the breaking pitch and couldn’t answer at the plate for the miscues in the field.

The finished the game with eight errors in three innings in the field. Josh Rushing reached on an infield single in the fifth with two outs in the fifth, but Calhoun got the next batter to look at a called third strike to end it.

&uot;The rain has really hurt us,&uot; Cline said. &uot;We’re in the process of building a cage. Our kids have never had a cage. We’re so far behind as far as being able to see live-ball pitching. We’re behind the 8-ball as far as that’s concerned.&uot;

The Green Wave put the ball in play early and found the holes late in the game to blow it open. The six-run first inning was damage enough for the Bears, who committed three errors and didn’t retire a batter until six-hole hitter Calhoun flied out to center to score Andrew Ellard for a 5-0 lead.

Drew Burns scored on a wild pitch for the sixth run of the inning as the Wave sent 11 batters to the plate.

The Green Wave put up four in the second with Charlie Lane and Ellard coming up with consecutive singles and scoring. Drew Burns singled in Lane and later scored for a 10-0 lead.

&uot;I know they’ve got a new coach, and he’s got them in the right direction,&uot; Beesley said. &uot;But he’s got a lot of young kids right now. They gave us those runs in the first inning, and from that everything kind of fell into place for us. We were patient at the plate.&uot;

I was impressed with the way they handled themselves around the infield. That coach has them going in the right direction.&uot;

The Green Wave tacked on six runs in the third on six hits and with the help of three errors. A throwing error on a ball off the bat of Drew Burns scored two runs, and Chris Rasco followed with a double to score Burns for a 14-0 lead.

Forrest White and David Ozburn delivered pinch-hit run-scoring singles.

&uot;Everybody’s heads were down (after the first inning),&uot; Cline said. &uot;Things just started to snowball.&uot;