Cathedral finally delivers to KO Enterprise

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 30, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; Preston Edwards&8217; single with the bases loaded did all sorts of things, and that&8217;s besides scoring the first runs of the game.

It allowed Cathedral coaches to finally breathe a sigh of relief and realize things may not be as bad as they have been the entire year. It made everyone feel better knowing that someone outside of the team&8217;s big three sticks &8212; the three most-experienced hitters in the lineup &8212; can come up with timely hits.

Edwards&8217; single at least gave proof that hard work may start paying off. The freshman&8217;s single scored two runs, and two others came up with hits to score two runs as part of a 13-run second as the Green Wave sailed to a 14-1 win over Enterprise.

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&8220;I was glad to see Preston get that 2-RBI single,&8221; Cathedral head coach Craig Beesley said. &8220;Preston got things rolling, and their pitcher was not a bad pitcher. He gave us a lot of problems last year in the tournament. To be honest, I wasn&8217;t expecting to hit the guy that good. I&8217;m hoping things are starting to come around.&8221;

It was a sign, and a pretty good one at that. The first inning told the story of the frustrations the young team has faced so far &8212; the Wave left the bases loaded without scoring a run &8212; before picking it up in the second off Enterprise right-hander Matt Floyd.

The Wave (6-0, 9-3) put the game away with the 13 runs, and Edwards came up with a single to drive in Braxton Fondren and Alex Middleton to start the rally. Cathedral sent 19 batters to the plate and took advantage of eight walks and a hit batter in that inning alone.

&8220;We came out and played 10 times better than we did against Vidalia,&8221; said senior Zack Calhoun, who had one of those run-scoring singles. &8220;We had that big inning. We needed it, and we jumped on them. We got on base, and a lot of guys worked the count full, fouled it off and got the walk, and people got key hits.&8221;

The Yellow Jackets (1-3, 5-6) had just one error in the inning and a strikeout that got by the catcher to keep the inning alive. Three of the walks came with the bases loaded, two coming from reliever Trent Rutland.

But the Green Wave sent nine men to the plate between the second and third out, and David Ozburn&8217;s groundout to end the inning kept him from going 3-for-3 for the inning.

&8220;After two innings, we pulled (Floyd) and he was right at 90 pitches,&8221; Enterprise assistant coach Steve Barrington said. &8220;He was a little sore, but that&8217;s what happens when you don&8217;t throw strikes against a good team. It always comes back to haunt you. We preached to them the key was throwing strikes and defense. It all starts with throwing strikes, and we didn&8217;t do that.&8221;

Ozburn&8217;s second hit of the inning came with the bases loaded and scored Charlie Lane and Patrick McDonough. An error and passed ball on a strikeout kept the inning alive, and Lane and McDonough each walked with the bases loaded before Calhoun singled in Edwards and Lane for a 13-0 lead.

&8220;We&8217;ve got them again, and we&8217;ve got to beat them,&8221; Calhoun said. &8220;This ought to slow them down. They had a lot of confidence out here today. I think we have a good chance of winning out from here. We&8217;ve just got to play our best against Vidalia. If we win three of our next four, we&8217;ll host a playoff here.&8221;

As long as the Green Wave kept hitting, it forced left-hander Patrick McDonough to get out in the pen to keep his arm warm when he wasn&8217;t hitting. He went all five despite getting into a rough patch in the fourth when Alex Powell singled in Blake McKee and a walk to Matt Price loaded the bases.

But McDonough got Elliot McKee to fly out to center to end the inning. He walked the leadoff man in the fifth but retired the next three batters to end the game.

&8220;It looked like he might have lost a little concentration in the fourth,&8221; Beesley said. &8220;We&8217;re trying to save Patrick&8217;s elbow. I don&8217;t want to over-use him too much. He hasn&8217;t wanted to come out. He just said it was a little sore.&8221;