Cathedral baseball gets raw deal

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, May 13, 2008

From all I have read and heard, Cathedral’s baseball team got a raw deal in their playoff game Saturday.

With the game tied 2-2 and East Webster batting in the bottom of the last inning, the East Webster batter faced a 2-2 count with the bases full and with the game on the line. There were two outs.

The next pitch appeared to be right down the middle, and even the batter thought it was a strike and that he had struck out. He even started toward his dugout. The umpire, though, had a different idea. He called the pitch a ball, and the following pitch, with a full count, was again a ball, forcing in the game-ending winning run.

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If, indeed, the previous pitch would have been called a ball for the entire game, nobody could fault the umpire.

If, however, that umpire called the pitch a ball, when he would have called it a strike for the entire game, he intentionally took the game away from one set of youngsters and gave it to the others.

I was not at the game, so if I am wrong then I apologize and all of this is hypothetical. I have known Cathedral coach Craig Beesley and his dad Ken for many years, and if those two were visibly upset about that call then I know it was wrong.

If the umpire made the call in order to be fairly sure the game would not go into extra innings then that person has no business officiating sports at any level.

I did notice that the Cathedral girls scored four points in the State Track Meet Saturday. That they scored at all is significant. A small school like Cathedral that fields such a good baseball and tennis program is lucky to have any kids left over for track.

The Cathedral tennis team, played well at the State Meet, and I understand that they used three or more seventh graders. Henry Harris, Natchez tennis guru, remarked that there are several sixth graders who will push for playing time next season. I also noted that a couple of Trinity’s baseball team stepped right into their tennis outfits after baseball ended.

I notice that Jarrett Hoffpauir is playing baseball for Memphis, a AAA affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.

He is currently batting .284, and appears to have played in all of his team’s games.

Hoffpauir, though listed in the Mississippi players section, is actually from Vidalia, but played baseball collegiately at Southern Mississippi. Natchez’s Nook Logan, though a major-league player, is on the disabled list.

High school football rules for the 2008 season are out, and there are no changes that will be apparent to other than the most studious fan. There are a couple of changes to rule enforcement, but nothing unusual.

Also, there are as always changes to the rules covering uniforms and equipment, but most of those involve proper labeling on those items. Also, regarding the limit line surrounding the football field, it may now be a solid line instead of a broken line.

This change was made to accommodate those fields with soccer boundary lines outside the football sidelines.

Hereafter, no one will be allowed in that area between the sideline and the limit line.

College football rules will be out about June 1, when the rule book will be issued by the NCAA. We earlier covered some of the college football rule changes as announced earlier, and I don’t anticipate any changes from that time.

And, That’s Official.

Al Graning can be reached by e-mail at