Cathedral comes back to win series, advance

Published 12:41 am Sunday, April 27, 2008

NATCHEZ — The turning point in Cathedral’s season might just have been an umpire’s call that went against them.

After defeating West Lowndes 9-4 in Game 2 of the three-game Class 1A South State second round playoff series, the Green Wave were trailing 5-2 in the top of the sixth inning when it looked like they had turned a double play to get out of the inning with no runs scoring.

However, the first base umpire ruled the Panthers’ Torrey Petty safe at first base allowing a run to score and getting normally easy-going Cathedral coach Craig Beesley out on the field for a prolonged argument.

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That play seemed to wake up the Green Wave, as they scored four runs in the bottom of the inning to tie the score and then plated the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly by Jesse Morrison to take a 7-6 victory.

“That kind of sparked us mentally,” Beesley said. “That was the fourth call that I thought had went against us and I was about to my boiling point. West Lincoln was cruising into the seventh inning and we weren’t making them work. That sparked us and got us going again.”

Morrison, who also drove in the first two runs of the sixth inning with a bases-loaded single, said the questionable call helped the team focus on winning the game and advancing.

“It worked for us,” Morrison said. “We channeled our anger into the game instead of getting down on ourselves.”

Daniel Jenkins set the tone for the bottom of the sixth inning with a leadoff double, which was followed by a walk to Hunter Foster.

After two outs, Braxton Fondren walked to load the bases and Morrison came through with a single to make the score 6-4.

Following another walk to load the bases Caleb Johnson singled up the middle to tie the game.

“Those two-out hits were huge,” Beesley said. “The kids never gave up and kept fighting.”

After a scoreless seventh, Cathedral quickly ended the game in the bottom of the eighth.

Kole Junkin led off the inning with a double and was bunted over to third base by Fondren.

Morrison than lifted a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Junkin and sent the Wave into the next round.

While Jenkins got the rally started in the sixth, his biggest contribution was on the mound, where he pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing only one run after pitching just eight innings the entire regular season.

“Daniel Jenkins did a tremendous job on the mound holding them at five runs,” Beesley said. “That allowed us to get back in the game. He really stepped up for us today.”

There as no such drama in the first game of the day, as Cathedral jumped out to a 8-1 lead and cruised to the victory behind the pitching of Preston Edwards, who went six innings in picking up the win.

The Wave led just 2-1 in the fourth before scoring three times. Jenkins’ double plated the first run of the inning before Foster hit a two-run homer to blow the game open.

Cathedral scored three more times in the fifth. Two of those runs came thanks to Foster’s double.

Cathedral (21-5) will face Stringer in the quarterfinal round of the South State playoffs, with Game 1 of the three-game series being Friday night at Chester Willis Field.

Game 2 will be Saturday at Stringer and the teams will flip a coin to determine who will host the third game Monday night if the game is necessary.