Bottom of the order key in Cathedral’s Game 1 win
NATCHEZ — Cathedral coach Craig Beesley has talked about his players needing to step up to fill the void of injured senior Dylan White.
And, for at least one game, some of the more unheralded Green Wave players did just that.
The No. 6, 7 and 8 hitters in the Cathedral lineup, Collin Hammons, Barrett Young and Rudy Lazarus, combined for eight of Cathedral’s 12 hits in a 12-2 victory over Ethel in Game 1 of the MHSAA Class 1A playoff series.
“They really stepped up and put the ball in play very well,” Beesley said. “I was most impressed that we scored every inning. That says that everyone in the lineup was hitting.”
Perhaps the most impressive offensive display was from Lazarus, who was only a part-time starter in the regular season.
Hitting in the No. 8 spot, Lazarus was 3 for 3 with three RBIs.
“I was just more cautious at the plate today,” Lazarus said. “I was watching pitches more instead of swinging at the first thing that came up there.”
And that strategy paid off with a good night at the plate.
“He did very well tonight, especially getting hits with two strikes,” Beesley said. “I’m glad to see him swing the bat like he did tonight.”
Cathedral opened up the scoring with a run in the first inning on a RBI single by Caleb Upton.
The Green Wave added another run in the bottom of the second inning when Hammons led the inning off with a double and later scored on a Lazarus single.
The Wave then struck for two big innings in a row, putting the game out of reach.
Cathedral plated four runs in the third inning on five hits.
Upton drove in the first run with a single and Hammons followed suit with another RBI single.
Young then hit a double that scored Hammons and Lazarus finished off the scoring in the inning with a single that scored Young.
Cathedral put the game completely out of reach in the fourth inning with five more runs.
A sacrifice fly by Tyler Ballard got the scoring started, and Hammons drove in another run with a single.
Young hit another single that scored the third run of the inning and Lazarus finished the scoring in the inning with another single that drove in Hammons.
Young also scored on the play after the right fielder bobbled the ball for an error.
Ethel scored two runs in the top of the fifth inning to keep the game alive, but Cathedral (16-5) ended it early with a run in the bottom of the fifth.
Game 2 of the series is scheduled for 6 p.m. today in Ethel, but rain is in the forecast, which could wreak havoc with the scheduling.
Tyler Morrison is the scheduled starter, but Beesley said Cole Mann should also see action on the mound.
“I feel comfortable with both of them on the mound,” Beesley said. “It will depend on the situation who we leave in the game.”