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Cathedral crushes St. Al, claims division title

VICKSBURG — If an uninitiated observer was watching Thursday’s game between St. Aloysius and Cathedral, they’d assume that Cathedral was the defending Class 1A champions.

The Green Wave (12-2, 4-0) showed some swagger as they swept the season series with their arch rivals with a rousing 12-0 decision that clinched the Division 7-1A title.

Cathedral pitcher Aaron White (3-0) was dominant holding the powerful St. Al lineup in check. He gave up just three hits with four strikeouts and mixed in a curveball he could throw for strikes with a heavy fastball.

“There’s no other feeling like it,” White said. “My curveball was working for me and I was just painting the corners. I’ve never had so much adrenaline out here with all of the fans. I was just on tonight.”

The offense worked beautifully to support White’s efforts. Tyler Ballard and Caleb Johnson blasted a three-run bomb apiece. Ballard’s blast gave the Green Wave an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first and Johnson’s shot proved to be a mortal wound in a four-run sixth inning.

Ballard finished 2-for-4 with four RBIs, while Johnson finished 2-for-4 with a triple in addition to his homer.

“If we keep swinging the bats like we’re doing, we’re going to be OK,” Cathedral coach Craig Beesley said. “That was a big series win against St. Al, because we know how good they are. We’ve got district wrapped up, but but our goal is to end up in the playoffs against them in South State.”

St. Al (11-2, 4-2) dropped its second game in a row in harrowing fashion, looking nothing like the defending Class 1A champions that were undefeated just a week ago. Ace pitcher Stephen Evans gave up two home runs, eight hits and nine runs. The defense was more porous than a piece of pumice, with six errors, two passed balls and countless other mental lapses. And the offense managed just two runners in scoring position all night with a cavalcade of easy flyouts and weak tappers.

“Right now, we got beat by a much better team than we are,” St. Al coach Clint Wilkerson said. “Three weeks ago, that wouldn’t have happened. We’ve picked the worst time of year to be playing our worst baseball.”

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