Saints win Greenwave Summer Classic tourney

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 19, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; It was a fitting end to the Greenwave Classic Summer League Baseball tournament, as the two city teams battled in the championship game with the Natchez Saints, upending the Greenwave 4-2 in front of the hometown crowd at Chester Willis Field.

&8220;Well anytime you get to go up against a city-rival you want go out and play your best,&8221; Saints coach Matt Mason said. &8220;Obviously we&8217;re happy with winning the tournament, and it was great game between two pretty good ball-clubs.&8221;

For coaches and fans the tournament was billed as a look into the future of area baseball, and if the results of this tournament are foretelling, then the area programs should be strong for years to come.

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&8220;I was pleased with the way our young kids played all summer, with that many eighth graders playing I didn&8217;t expect us to play as well as we did,&8221; Greenwave coach Craig Beesley said. &8220;It shows just how much our kids have grown up and progressed over the summer. We&8217;re going to build off of this come next year, and hopefully we&8217;ll be pretty strong next year.&8221;

Pitching dominated for both sides as neither team was able to generate many runs, and the bulk of the scoring came from fielding errors by the infield.

Matt Barnes was able to mix up his pitches well for the Saints and riddled the Greenwave batters for the better part of the game.

&8220;Matt did a great job for us, and really threw the ball well tonight,&8221; Mason said. &8220;He had the opposing bats swinging all night, and you have to feel pretty good anytime you have your pitcher go out and throw a game like he did.&8221;

Coach Beesley praised the job done on the mound by his pitcher Preston Edwards, whose power pitching produced outs, but failed to earn the win.

&8220;Preston went right after the hitters with that fastball, but unfortunately we could get keep enough runners off the basepath,&8221; Beesley said.

After four innings of play the saints were up 4-1, and it did not appear that the Greenwave would recover, but the bats came alive in the fifth inning for the Greenwave, who pulled within two runs, and appeared ready to tie the game up with runners on first and second&8212;that was until Natchez Saint left-fielder Wells Middleton, robbed what apperared to be a sure-fire single with a diving catch, that stymied the Greenwave rally.

&8220;Well if that ball would&8217;ve dropped, it would have been 4-3 with a man on third,&8221; Beesley said. &8220;That play definitely stalled us out, but what can you say it was heck of a catch.&8221;