Cathedral one win away from 1A State finals

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 9, 2008

NATCHEZ — Cathedral has lived on the edge throughout the Class 1A South State playoffs.

They’ve come back from being down one game to none twice, won three games by a single run and won one game in extra innings.

So it was about time that they were able to blow somebody out.

Email newsletter signup

The Green Wave scored 10 runs in the bottom of the fifth inning against East Webster in Game 1 of the South State championship series, turning a close game into a rout on their way to a 13-3 win in six innings.

“We finally started hitting the ball with runners on base,” Cathedral coach Craig Beesley said. “We had some big clutch two-out hits in that inning.”

The win puts a stop to East Webster’s 18-game winning streak and brings the Wave to within a victory of the State Championship series.

Game 2 of the South State finals will be at 6 p.m. today at East Webster.

Cathedral looked to be in for another close game after the first four and a half innings.

The Wave jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to Caleb Johnson’s RBI triple in the first inning and Kole Junkin’s solo home run in the second, but East Webster scored one run in the top of the third to cut into the lead and then took the lead with two runs in the fourth.

However, Cathedral brought 14 men to the plate in the fifth, collecting seven hits and 10 runs.

The Green Wave tied the game on a single by Daniel Jenkins and took the lead on a bases-loaded walk by Tyler Ballard.

Cathedral then tried a suicide squeeze with Blasé Bradford at the plate, but failed when Bradford missed the bunt and Jenkins was tagged out at home.

However, Bradford made up for his mistake with an RBI single a few pitches later, which seemed to break the dam.

Jesse Morrison followed with a two-run double, Johnson plated two more with a single, Aaron White drove in a run with a single and Jenkins drove in another run with a double. The final run scored on a groundout by Junkin.

After keeping the Wolverines scoreless in the top of the sixth, the Green Wave ended the game when Edwards drove home Bradford in the bottom of the sixth.

The win gave Cathedral a perfect record at home this season, something that isn’t taken lightly.

“I told the seniors that it’s nice to be able to win not just your last game at home, but all your games at home for the entire year,” Beesley said. “We had good leadership from the seniors and we’ll need that to continue (Friday).”

Considering East Webster had run through the playoffs undefeated to this point, even Cathedral players were surprised they were able to win handily.

“I thought it would be a real close game,” Jenkins said. “Everything fell into place in the fifth inning. We were feeling it tonight with the bats.”

Edwards pitched a complete-game to pick up the win, upping his record to 13-0 on the season.

Morrison, Edwards, Johnson, Jenkins and Bradford all had multiple hits for the Wave to lead the offense.

Beesley said Thursday’s big win should help the team going into Game 2 this evening.

“This will give us some confidence,” Beesley said. “But we know that they are capable of scoring six or seven runs in any inning. We hope to put pressure on them early and keep playing well.”