Prep Baseball Roundup: Cathedral survives, NHS’ season ends

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, April 29, 2015

NATCHEZ — The Cathedral High School Green Wave somehow overcame eight errors to hold off a pesky Resurrection Catholic team for a 9-6 win over the Eagles at Chester Willis Field Tuesday afternoon in Game 1 of the MHSAA Class 1A South State Playoffs series.

Two of those errors helped Resurrection score three runs in the top of the third inning to cut Cathedral’s lead to just one run at 7-6. But the Green Wave was able to stretch its lead with one run in the bottom of the fourth and another run in the bottom of the fifth.

“I thought we didn’t show up tonight. It was one of our worst performances of the season in all phases,” Green Wave head coach Craig Beesley said. “Hopefully, we’ll go down there and play a much better game.”

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The Division 7-1A champion and top-ranked Green Wave led 1-0 after one inning of play before Resurrection plated three runs in the top of the second inning. However, that lead would be short-lived as Cathedral used a six-run rally in the bottom of the second to take a 7-3 lead.

“We were able to string a few hits together and put some runs across,” Beesley said. “But basically, we didn’t play a good game tonight. We were able to win with an unusual performance.”

Sam Parker was the winning pitcher despite lasting just two innings. He gave up five runs (none earned) on just two hits and struck out five batters, but he also walked five batters.

“It was a combination of getting ahead of the count and playing good defense. We got behind (in the count) and when we got ahead, we didn’t make the plays defensively,” Beesley said.

Then Pate Shirley came on in relief and held the Eagles to just one run (none earned) on four hits and three walks with one strikeout. What helped the Green Wave was that the Eagles left 12 runners on base.

“Pate came in and gave us some quality innings. I thought he pitched real well,” Beesley said. Shirley also helped his own cause by going 3-for-4 with one run batted in and one run scored.

Reed White committed three errors, but he did not let that affect him at the plate. He went 2-for-3 with two doubles and two runs scored.

“He got two doubles for us tonight. I thought he had a good night at the plate,” Beesley said.

White wasn’t the only Green Wave player who had issues in the field. Both Gabe Smith and Andrew Beesley committed two errors apiece.

Quinton Logan had a double and drove in two runs and Jacob Jenkins also had a pair of RBIs. Not one player for Resurrection had an extra-base hit or more than one hit, but Whit Davis had three RBIs.

Cathedral (18-3) will look to wrap up this best-of-three series on Thursday beginning at 5 p.m. when it takes on Resurrection at Industrial Park in Pascagoula.

Picayune 17, Natchez High 7

ELLISVILLE — Picayune High School had a nearly three-to-one ratio in base hits over Natchez High School and the Maroon Tide committed half as many errors as the Bulldogs did.

And those two factors are why Picayune is advancing to the first round of the MHSAA Class 5A South State Playoffs and Natchez High is done for the season. The Maroon Tide also used an eight-run outburst in the bottom of the sixth inning to defeat the Bulldogs 17-7 Tuesday afternoon to take this play-in round two games to one.

“Without errors, we would have won the game,” Natchez High head coach Dan Smith. “Errors were the turning point of the game. A couple of times, we would have gotten out of innings.”

After Game 3 of this series, which was scheduled to be played at Picayune, was rained out on Monday afternoon, it ended up being played at South Jones High School, home of the Division 5-5A champion Braves.

Picayune jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning before Natchez High tied the game at 3-all in the top of the fourth inning. The Division 7-5A No. 2 seed Maroon Tide regained the lead with three runs in the bottom of the fourth, but the Bulldogs used a four-run rally in the top of the fifth inning to grab a 7-6 lead.

But then the errors really mounted for the Bulldogs and the Maroon Tide made them pay, scoring three runs in the bottom of the fifth for a 9-7 advantage before putting up those eight runs in the bottom of the sixth to run-rule the Bulldogs and end their season.

Josiah Hickman was the winning pitcher after allowing seven runs on five hits with five strikeouts and two walks. Shavokee Herrington took the loss after giving up seven runs (only three earned) on six hits and two walks to go with four strikeouts.

“We look forward to next year,” Smith said.

Natchez High, the No. 3 seed out of Division 6-5A finished the 2015 season with an 8-12 overall record.