Cathedral coach says team exceeded expectations this season
NATCHEZ — Going into the season, Cathedral baseball coach Craig Beesley didn’t know what to make of his team.
“We graduated some good players from last year, and going into the season, we were unsure how we would react to that,” Beesley said.
After a 19-7 season and a trip to the South State tournament, however, Beelsey gave his players a high grade for rising to the occasion.
“I felt like we met expectations, and maybe went above (them). We had some kids step up, put the team on their shoulders and do well this year,” Beesley said.
And it was the seniors especially that made the difference, and gave the Green Wave an identity as a team that wouldn’t back down no matter how hard they were pressed, Beesley said.
“I’ll remember them simply as competitors. They never gave up,” Beesley said.
“It didn’t matter what the score was or who we were playing, they went out there and competed every game, every inning, and that showed with how we played this year.”
Cathedral’s season ended in the South State tournament against defending Class 1A state champion St. Aloysius. The Flashes defeated the Green Wave 6-2 in games one and two of the series.
“You hate to lose, but we knew they had a good team going into the series,” Beesley said.
“They only graduated one senior from their state championship team last year, so we knew it would be tough for us. They had some injuries during the regular season when we beat them twice, but they have everyone back now, and it looks like they’ll make another run at a state championship.”
In order for the outcome to maybe be different next year, Beesley said his team would have to start off better in game one of the series. Last Thursday, the Cathedral was down 6-0 after the top of the first inning in game one against St. Al.
“We have to start game one off a little better. That was the only disappointment of the whole series. I felt like if we could’ve started game one out a little better, things may have turned out differently,” Beesley said.
With ace Dylan White graduating, Beesley said the No. 1 spot in the rotation is completely up for grabs next year.
“We expect big things out of Tyler Morrison, and we’re looking for a No. 2 pitcher. We have several prospects, and it’s going to come down to who works the hardest this summer,” Beesley said.
“Morrison has the most experience coming back, but depending on how some of these young kids work, he may be the No. 2. Collin Hammons, Blake Martin, Caleb Upton and Austin Chauvin are all guys that could develop for us.”
Having the entire middle infield return next year will also be a plus, Beesley added.
“Daniel Huffines comes back at shortstop, Hammons comes back at second and Caleb comes back at catcher. When your entire middle infield comes back, you feel pretty good about your defense, and they’ll be back,” Beesley said.