Green Wave advance to South State Chammpionship

Published 12:18 am Tuesday, May 6, 2008

STRINGER — The Cathedral Green Wave is now just two wins away from winning the Class 1A South State Championship after defeating Stringer 3-2 Monday afternoon for a sweep of the third-round series.

Region 8-1A champion Cathedral, 23-5, will take on Region 5-1A champion East Webster in the best-of-three series. Game 1 is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at Chester Willis Field. Game 2 will be at 6 p.m. Friday at East Webster in Maben. Game 3, if necessary, will take place at Canton Academy at a time to be determined.

Game 2 in the series with Stringer was originally scheduled to take place last Saturday afternoon, but wet grounds caused by heavy rain during the morning forced the game to be rescheduled. It also gave Red Devils ace pitcher Andrew Pierce time to rest his arm after throwing over 130 pitches in Cathedral’s comeback win in Game 1 last Friday.

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Despite allowing four walks and two hit batsmen, Daniel Jenkins gave up just two runs on four hits in six innings to pick up the win. Preston Edwards entered the game after Stringer had runners on first and second in the bottom of the seventh and retired the side in order for the save.

“(Jenkins) kept us in the game. He did a good job for us,” Cathedral head coach Craig Beesley said. “They got the first two runners on in the seventh. The game was still on the line when we brought Preston in. He had a little adrenaline. He was throwing 85, 86. He came in and threw strikes and shut them down.”

Cole Junkin was another key to the Green Wave’s win as he went 3-for-3 and started the scoring with an RBI single in the top of the second inning.

Cathedral then went up 3-0 in the top of the fourth when Braxton Fondren brought in a run on an RBI groundout to second and Aaron White walked with the bases loaded to score another run.

That was it for Stringer starting pitcher Derrick Bynum, who was the losing pitcher after allowing three runs on three hits in 3 2/3 innings. Pierce came on in relief and did his best to keep the Red Devils in the game by allowing just one hit while striking out seven in 3 1/3 innings.

Stringer cut Cathedral’s lead to 3-2 on a two-run single to right field by Jeff Bounds, but the tandem of Jenkins and Edwards kept the Red Devils off the scoreboard the rest of the game.

“Daniel did a good job of pitching around the errors,” Beesley said of the three errors Cathedral committed. “If we had gone to a game three, we would have had to go with Preston.”

Instead, Edwards is scheduled to be on the mound for the Green Wave in Game 1 against the Wolverines, a team that went through the first three rounds without losing a single game.

Sumrall 17, Franklin County 0

SUMRALL — Franklin County will have to wait yet another year to play for the South State championship after losing to Sumrall in five innings Monday night in Game 3 of their third-round series.

Sumrall (28-6) broke the game open by scoring seven runs in the bottom of the third inning to take a 9-0 lead. The Bobcats then ended the game early with eight more runs in the bottom of the fourth.

That was more than enough run support for winning pitcher Bryn Whitehead, who held Franklin County’s potent offense to just two hits.

Yet despite the lopsided win, only five of Sumrall’s 16 hits went for extra bases, and those were all doubles. Blaine Abernathy took the loss for Franklin County (24-7) on the mound.

Jake Hawkins had four hits, including a double, and Whitehead had a double among his three hits to lead the Bobcats, who will take on the winner of the Columbia/Newton County series starting on Thursday.