Cathedral sweeps doubleheader, advances to 2nd round

Published 12:27 am Tuesday, April 22, 2008

NATCHEZ — After letting Game 1 of the first round playoff series against Mount Olive slip away on Saturday, Cathedral had to win two games Monday in order to avoid a first round upset and advance in the playoffs.

And thanks to two solid pitching performances and steady defensive play, the Wave won’t be packing up the bats and gloves just yet.

Cathedral defeated Mount Olive 11-1 in both games Monday at Chester Willis Field and advances to play West Lowndes in the second round.

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A single game Thursday and a doubleheader Saturday will complete the round. A coin flip today will determine which school hosts on Thursday and which hosts on Saturday.

Although the final score of both of Monday’s games were identical, they two games were quite different.

While Cathedral jumped out to a big lead in the first game and won handily, the second game was in doubt until the bottom of the fifth inning.

Preston Edwards had given the Green Wave a 2-0 lead with a home run in the third inning, but Mount Olive cut the lead in half on a sacrifice fly by Julius McNair.

Mount Olive threatened to tie or take the lead in the top of the fifth, but Edwards struck out a man with runners on the corners to end the inning and keep Cathedral in front.

The Green Wave finally broke the game open in the bottom of the fifth, thanks to a balk and some clutch hitting.

With two outs and the bases loaded, a balk was called on the Mount Olive pitcher, allowing Caleb Johnson to score, making the score 3-1.

Two pitches later, Aaron White hit a single through the hole between shortstop and third base to drive in two more runs and effectively end the game.

“That balk call really seemed to break their (Mount Olive) backs,” Cathedral coach Craig Beesley said. “Then Aaron followed that up with a big two-out single to give us some breathing room.”

Cathedral added six more runs in the bottom of the seventh, the final three on a three-base error with the sacks full that cleared the bases and ended the game.

Edwards was outstanding on the mound, allowing just one hit and one run.

“He’s tough,” Beesley said of his pitcher,” He really came through for us tonight.”

Edwards was also 2-for-3 with his home run in addition to his pitching performance. Kole Junkin, Hunter Foster and White also had multiple hits for the Wave.

While Edwards pitched great in the second game of the doubleheader, White tossed a gem in the first game of the day, allowing just one run of his own on four hits.

“Aaron did a great job pitching for us in the first game,” Beesley said. “His performance kind of set the tone for the day.”

Cathedral took a 1-0 lead after one inning on an RBI single by Edwards and followed it up with two more runs in the second.

They put a five-spot on the board in the fourth inning, keyed by a two-run single by Braxton Fondren and a RBI single by Jesse Morrison.

Cathedral ended the game with three runs in the bottom of the sixth, with the big blow being an RBI single by Junkin.