Cathedral scores late runs to roll past Franklin Co.
NATCHEZ — Cathedral pitcher Dylan White probably learned Tuesday that patience is often rewarded.
While his batters where shut down for four innings, White continued to make the pitches he needed to keep opponent Franklin County at bay.
And the Green Wave finally got going offensively in the late innings, scoring two runs in the fifth inning and three in the sixth, en route to a 5-2 victory. White went all seven innings, giving up just four hits.
“He kept us in the game, and limited them to just two runs,” Cathedral coach Craig Beesley said. “We knew we’d put runs on the board eventually, we just had to hold it down.
“We had Dylan on a pitch count, and thought we’d only keep him in for 75 pitches, but we weren’t bringing him out in a game that close.”
White’s only two runs allowed came in the top of the third inning. The Bulldogs’ Colton Laird singled in Hunter Hatcher, and Preston Shelton knocked in pitcher Dehendret Collins from third.
White gave credit to his defense for helping him out on a night where he didn’t have his sharpest stuff on the mound.
“I started feeling better, and the defensive picked me up,” White said. “My curve wasn’t there, so I just placed the ball and let the defense play.”
After holding Cathedral scoreless for the first four innings, Collins ran into trouble in the fifth when back-to-back doubles by White and Caleb Upton scored one run for Cathedral. Several batters later, Collin Hammons doubled in Upton, tying the game 2-2 after five.
A defensive miscue in the sixth led to Cathedral scoring the go-ahead run. Daniel Huffines started the inning with a walk, and Aaron White attempted to bunt him over to second. When Collins fielded the bunt, he overthrew Hatcher at second base. Franklin County center fielder Brandon Robinson hesitated throwing the ball back to the infield, allowing Huffines to score.
Cathedral’s Caleb Johnson also scored in the sixth on a sacrifice fly, and a passed ball allowed another Green Wave run in.
“(Collins) got tired and got a little wild,” Beesley said. “We got some baserunners on and made him throw from the stretch, which we took advantage of.”
Franklin County head coach Brent Calcote said fielding letdowns contributed to Collins’ problems in the later innings.
“He threw well,” Calcote said. “We had some fielding issues all game that kept giving him extra outs. We had him at 122 pitches when we pulled him (in the sixth inning). You don’t want to hurt him in a non-district game.”
White closed out the seventh inning with a strikeout and a double play.
“We had guys ready to come in if he got into trouble in the seventh, but he really wanted to go a complete game,” Beesley said. “We really wanted to rest him, but he wanted to finish it off.”
White said pitching a complete game helps boost his confidence, but so does not facing his own hitters, he added.
“I’m glad I pitch for Cathedral and not against us, because when we’re hot, we’re hot,” White said.
Cathedral rose to 13-2 on the season. Franklin County fell to 11-6 overall.