White quiets St. Al bats in Cathedral win
NATCHEZ — Cathedral’s nickname might be the Green Wave, but on Tuesday night, the color of choice was white, as in Cathedral pitcher Dylan White.
White shut down the powerful bats of St. Aloysius, and held the Flashes to just eight hits in an 11-5 win.
“All I can say about Dylan White is that he’s a competitor,” Cathedral coach Craig Beesley said. “There’s nobody I’d rather have on the mound in a crucial situation than Dylan White.”
The Green Wave gave St. Al its first loss this season, and White said it was all about getting respect.
“We came out to make a statement and I think we did,” White said. “I don’t think we have been getting the respect that they have. And I still don’t think we’re as good as we can be. We just keep getting better each week.”
St. Al coach Clint Wilkerson could do nothing but tip his hat after White shut down the Flashes powerful lineup that had been scoring over 15 runs per game.
“This is the first time we have really been held down all year,” Wilkerson said. “That White kid pitched an outstanding game. He just wanted it a little more than we did.”
But it wasn’t just White who played a role in Cathedral’s victory. The Green Wave offense came through with 16 hits in the game.
“We swung the bats really well tonight and had some clutch two-out hits,” Beesley said. “We swung the bats well one through nine in the lineup. Those two-out hits put us over the hump.”
St. Al never led in the game, and every time the Flashes made a run at Cathedral, the Green Wave would pull away from them again.
Cathedral jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Tyler Ballard blasted a double off the center field wall to bring home Aaron White.
St. Al tied the score in the top of the third on an RBI single by Stephen Evans, but as they would do the entire game, the Green Wave wouldn’t let the Flashes stay with them for long.
Cathedral put three runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth, the first scoring on a groundout by Caleb Johnson and the next two coming on a double by Aaron White, who finished 3-for-4 in the game.
St. Al came back once again in the top of the fifth, scoring three times to knot the score at 4-4, but Cathedral once again took the momentum right back in the bottom of the inning.
The Green Wave got production from the bottom of the lineup, with Collin Hammons and Hunter Foster hitting back-to-back RBI singles to make the score 6-4.
St. Al scored a run in the top of the sixth on a single by Pierson Waring, but Cathedral finally struck the final blow with five runs in the bottom of the frame.
An RBI single by Ballard got the inning started, and Hammons and Foster followed with run-scoring singles of their own before Hammons scored on a wild pitch to put Cathedral up by six runs.
“We just tried to jump on their first pitch,” Ballard, who finished 4-for-4 with three RBI in the game, said. “That’s what helped us. (St. Al) is a very good team, but we know we’re a good team too. We had to prove to ourselves how good we are and we did that tonight.”
White, who struggled a little in the fifth and sixth innings, finished the game in style, sitting down the Flashes in order in the seventh to preserve the victory.
The senior pitcher said he had no intentions of coming out of the game, even though he was tiring down the stretch.
“I knew it was St. Al and it was a must win,” White said. “I wasn’t going to come out for anything.”
With the win, Cathedral (11-2) moves into first place in the district with a 3-0 district record. St. Al (11-1) fell to 4-1 in the district with the loss.
The two teams play in Vicksburg at 7 p.m. Thursday. There will be no junior varsity game before hand.
A win by Cathedral on Thursday would all but lock up the district championship and possibly a No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
“I know that St. Al is going to swing the bats on Thursday,” Beesley said. “Holding them down to five or six runs is going to be tough. We’re going to have to swing the bats and score some runs.”
Beesley said the key to a win Thursday will be to get an early lead and put some pressure on the Flashes.
“The first three innings are crucial for us,” Beesley said. “Hopefully we can get a lead early and hold on to it.”