Double trouble: Cathedral beats Natchez in both games of doubleheader

Published 12:01 am Sunday, March 10, 2019


The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — Cathedral had a difficult time scoring against starting pitcher Paul Hargrave of Natchez High School in the first game of a Friday night double header.

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Hargrave struck out eight batters through the first five innings of game one Friday night. He also had control problems and walked eight batters in the process.

Natchez High School had better luck at the plate and on the bases. Starting pitcher for the Green Wave Conner Murray got in some trouble but held the game together though with four strikeouts. After five innings the Bulldogs had the lead 5-1.

The Bulldogs used two pitchers throughout the sixth — Brad Dean to start the inning and later Zehalin Cornett.

The sixth, however, is when the Green Wave bat’s started hitting; sending out the top of the lineup they batted around.

With four singles in a row, a walk, a sacrifice, two errors and a late single scattered in; the Green Wave surged to the lead 8-5.

For Cathedral, in the bottom of the sixth Coach Craig Beesley sent in his closer — eighth-grader Jake Hairston.

Hairston closed out the sixth only having to face four batters.

With one out, Bulldog D.K. McGruder hit a rifled shot down the right field line and with that the speedster took off from home with no thought of stopping. While he was cutting the corner of second base and digging for third Landon Lees came up with it, fired it to his relay man, second baseman Will Mabry, who wheeled and threw a perfect strike to third base where Ben Foster was waiting.

Foster applied the tag to McGruder who was sliding in hands first.

Cathedral also batted around in the seventh inning. This time they used five walks to load the bases and with a few singles managed to score seven more runs. Hairston and the Green Wave defense held the Bulldogs scoreless in the seventh to win game one 15-5.

After the game Beesley said he was pleased with starting pitcher Conner Murray. “He did a good job for us,” Beesley said. “He gave us five good innings and kept us in the ballgame.”

The winning pitcher was Conner Murray. The losing pitcher was Brad Dean and Jake Hairston earned his second save of the year.

Green Wave holds off Natchez high in game 2

Game two of a Friday night double header between Cathedral and Natchez High School on Friday night at Chester Willis Field was scheduled as a five-inning game.

Devin Winchester started the game for Natchez high and pitching for Cathedral was Ronnie McMillan.

D.K. McGruder hit the ball hard again in the second half of the double header; a double to left field to knock in a run.

In the top of the second the Green Wave wasted no time this time in scoring. They  batted around once again for the third time on the night.

Ben Foster singled in two runs, Landon Lees doubled to left field to score one run and eighth-grader Noah Russ hit the ball hard to centerfield and scored two runs. The Green Wave led 7-1.

Jakel Barnes blasted a triple down the right field line to knock in two RBI and McGruder had a run batted in to make the score 8-4. However, Cathedral would go on to win this game too, 10-5.

Beesley said he was happy with his team’s performance on the night, being able to win both games of a long doubleheader.

“We sure hit the ball a lot better in game two,” Beesley said.

Winning pitcher was Ronnie McMillan while the loss goes to Devin Winchester.

Cathedral’s next game is here at Chester Willis Field against Lloyd Star.

Natchez High plays Thursday in Jackson at Smith-Wills stadium, a doubleheader against Crystal Springs and Provine.