STATE OF THE REUNION: Cathedral baseball duo teams up to play in State Games of Mississippi tournament

Published 12:41 am Saturday, June 4, 2016

NATCHEZ — Cathedral High School baseball players Zach Flattmann and Craig Bradley didn’t know exactly what to expect May 31 when they tried out for the State Games of Mississippi’s District 7 team at Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

The two were the only Green Wave players to try out, although Flattmann said there were a handful of familiar faces from area schools, camps and travel teams at the showcase. But by the time coaches had clocked their 60-yard dashes, throws and watched them take batting practice, they were confident in their chances of making the prestigious squad.

“I’ve heard before that it was tough to make it, especially for guys from Cathedral (because of the size of the school),” Bradley said. “I thought I could have done better, but mostly I was happy with what I did.”

Email newsletter signup

“We were going into it open-minded, just trying out really,” Flattmann said.

A few days later, Flattmann and Bradley got phone calls confirming they made the squad. Cathedral head coach Craig Beesley said it was the first time two of his players made the State Games district team in the same season.

The State Games baseball tournament, which runs from June 14 to June 17, is a double-elimination tournament. Bradley and Flattmann’s District 7 team plays its first game at 10 a.m. June 14 at Meridian Community College.

The 18-player team is made up of three corner infielders, three middle infielders, two catchers four outfielders and six pitchers. Bradley makes up a quarter of the roster’s middle infield and Flattmann, a regular catcher for Cathedral, will play first base.

“I tried out as a catcher and asked the coach how many catchers made it. He told me they were talking about moving me to first,” Flattmann said. “I’m used to it, but I tried out for catcher … It doesn’t really matter to me. I just want as much playing time as I can get.”

Flattmann is no stranger to picks and scorched balls at first base.

“He does play a lot of first base on his travel team,” Beesley said. “He played first base for us during his ninth grade year.”

Bradley, who has been attending offseason football workouts, and Flattmann, who is playing tournaments for his summer travel team, are squeezing the tournament into an already-packed offseason. The exposure to college scouts makes the trip to Meridian worthwhile for the Green Wave seniors.

“It’ll be good exposure for us, especially if we make it deep into the tournament,” Bradley said. “There will be lots of college coaches there.”

Flattman and Bradley are the two seniors on Cathedral’s 2017 team with substantial experience as everyday players.

Beesley said that experience will be something he will lean on early in the season, as his 2017 team navigates the learning curve of playing at the varsity level.

“We need them to be leaders because we’ll be inexperienced,” Beesley said. “We’re going to go through some rough times early in the year, but they’re going to need to be leaders for us.”