Former Cathedral star shines in rookie college season

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Andrew Beesley is unsure what his next college destination holds, but if it is anything like his last, he’s in good shape.

The former Cathedral High School star had a standout freshman campaign at Southwest Mississippi Community College in which he accumulated a team high .380 batting average on his way to earning MACJC second-team honors.

“I had a pretty good year at the plate,” Beesley said.

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Beesley said he has decided not to return to the Summit-based campus and is currently exploring all of his options.

“I haven’t decided where I’m going yet,” he said. “I talked to the (Southwest) coaches about it. There was a lot going on at Southwest, and it ended up being not the right fit. I have a lot of decisions to make this summer.

“I want to try and go to (junior college) one more year, then see if I can go somewhere a lot bigger.”

Despite only being in a Bear uniform for one season, Beesley left a lasting impact.

In addition to his high batting average, the 6-foot-1 infielder also finished second all-time in program history for a season in at-bats (163) and runs scored (45). He also registered a .444 on-base percentage to go along with a .474 slugging percentage.

“It’s a great feeling just seeing the hard work pay off and proving that you belong,” Beesley said. “Going to college, a lot of people told me you’re not ready for this level. Coming from a small school and proving that you belong on the collegiate level, that’s a great feeling.”

Defensively, Beesley served early on as the Bears’ designated hitter. He then took over at first base shortly into the year, before making the transition to third base, and finally back to his high school position at shortstop to close out the campaign.

“I bounced around a pretty good bit,” he said. “I finally made it back to where I would like to be with three games left in the year.”

Beesley said the biggest transition from high school to the collegiate ranks was the speed of the game.

“It’s definitely a step up with the pitching, everybody is a step better than they are in high school,” he said. “The game is faster. Every pitcher you face is a (former CHS pitcher) Sam Parker.”

While Beesley continues to search for a future landing spot, he’s also focused on making improvements heading into next year.

“I want to better in the field and at the plate,” he said. “I want to work on off-speed pitches.”