Cathedral beats Smithville in Game 1 of state championship

Published 12:05 am Thursday, May 21, 2015

PEARL — The Cathedral Green Wave are in the driver’s seat of the MHSAA Class 1A State Championship series.

With a 13-1 win against Smithville at Trustmark Park Wednesday, the Green Wave are just a win away from claiming a state championship.

“It is the greatest feeling in the world,” Cathedral right fielder Pate Shirley said. “It is your dream in little league, and when it becomes a reality, it is an awesome feeling.”

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It didn’t take long for Cathedral to establish itself as the dominant team in Game 1, as the Green Wave quickly scored two runs in the first inning.

Quinton Logan knocked in Zach Flattmann on an RBI-single and then pinch runner Conner Branton scored on a double steal to push the lead to 2-0.

Those two runs turned out to be all Cathedral would need, but the Wave continued to pad the lead in the second. Jacob Jenkins scored on an RBI-double from Andrew Beesley. Beesley later scored on a wild pitch to increase the lead to 4-0.

Beesley led Cathedral at the plate going 4-for-5.

“We just came out live and ready to play,” he said. “We were all excited and wanted to show what we had. We came out hitting the ball today and stayed hot.”

But it wasn’t just the bats that were hot for Cathedral. Logan turned in another solid performance on the mound going 5 and a third innings, giving up just three hits and striking out five.

“He went a little deep in the count more than I would have liked and threw a few more pitches than I wanted, but he had a good performance,” Cathedral head coach Craig Beesley said. “We’ll put him at first base and let him swing the stick on Friday.”

After going scoreless in the third and fourth, Cathedral’s bats came back to life in the final three innings where they would score a combined nine runs.

Shirley, who recorded his first of three doubles in the fifth, scored on a wild pitch.

Then in the next inning, Logan drove in a run and Shirley added an RBI-double to push the lead to 7-0.

Smithville got their lone run of the contest in the bottom of the sixth on a throwing error.

The Green Wave shut the door on the game in the seventh plating six runs on seven hits.

Beesley led off the inning with a single, and scored on a Craig Bradley single in the next at bat.

Flattman then knocked in Bradley with an RBI-double and scored on a sacrifice fly from Sam Parker.

Shirley recorded his third double in as many innings and scored on a hit from Reed White.

Jacob Jenkins also had an RBI-single in the seventh.

Now, Cathedral turns its attention to Friday for Game 2, and player’s believe they have Smithville right where they want them.

“Friday, if we put some runs on them in the first inning, I think they’ll go down,” Shirley said. “But we’ve got to fight each inning.

For Craig, a win could be monumental for the program.

“We left a lot here last year and we didn’t feel like we played our best,” he said. “We haven’t won since 2004. We’ve been here a lot, just haven’t been able to get over that hump. Hopefully, this will be our year.”

First pitch of Game 2 is scheduled for 1 p.m.