Cathedral begins playoff push today

Published 1:00 am Saturday, April 19, 2008

NATCHEZ — Cathedral might have lost several key players to graduation last year, but they are right back where they expect to be every year — region champions.

The Green Wave finished the regular season with a 17-3 overall record and 10-0 record in Region 8-1A, allowing them to have home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

The Wave was supposed to begin their first round three-game series against Region 7 No. 4 seed Mount Olive Friday, but rainy weather pushed that back a day.

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Cathedral will play at Mount Olive today at 1 p.m. before coming home for game two and an if-necessary game three Monday evening.

Cathedral coach Craig Beesley said it has taken a number of players stepping up into key roles for the Green Wave to have the success they had this season.

“We started off not knowing how strong we were going to be,” Beesley said. “We lost some key players from last season and had some injuries early. But everyone in the lineup has really come through for us. We’re hoping to continue to play well throughout the playoffs.”

While the Green Wave generally is at the top of Region 8, Beesley said he was a little surprised at the team’s undefeated run through region play.

“I was pleasantly surprised,” Beesley said. “We graduated some key starters from last season and I was unsure about our pitching rotation. But the last couple of weeks we’ve really tuned it up with the bats and we hope to keep that going.”

While Cathedral will be expected to defeat Mount Olive, Beesley said the Pirates can be dangerous if they are allowed to get on base.

“The main thing is we have to keep them off the bases by pitching well and playing good defense,” he said. “If they can get on base they can give us some trouble with their speed. We’ve got to make the routine plays.”

Even though the series has been pushed back because of the inclement weather, Beesley said it wouldn’t affect his team much.

“We’ll still be able to keep our scheduled pitching rotation,” Beesley said. “Preston Edwards will pitch game one with Aaron White pitching game two on Monday.”

If the Green Wave beat Mount Olive in the first round, they will advance to face either West Lowndes or Edinburg in the second round.