Noah Russ, Jake Maples combine for no-hitter in Green Wave’s opener

Published 3:23 pm Wednesday, February 9, 2022

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LIBERTY — Cathedral head coach Craig Beesley was excited to start his 19th baseball season as a coach. His son Andrew Beesley coaching third base, and Wright Graning coaching first. He said the excitement surrounding the baseball team and school is outstanding right now.

After football season, the Green Wave hit the weight room and became stronger. They have worked hard and were ready to get out on the diamond Tuesday night as they shut out Amite School Center 12-0.

Noah Russ started and got the win as he pitched for three innings and gave up no runs, no hits and struck out 5 batters. Jake Maples pitched two innings, gave up no runs, no hits and struck out four batters to start the season. They consistently threw strikes Tuesday night, Craig said.

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Offensively, he thought the Green Wave could swing the bats better. However, with it being a cold game and the first of the season, it is hard to get a good judgment on the squad’s hitting. He said batters typically start the year slow.

“Usually at the beginning of the year, pitching is always ahead of hitting. You don’t get as much live action as a batter because of the weather,” Craig said. “As batters see more live pitching, they get better and better.”

Tanner Wimberly stepped up at the plate by going 2-3 with three RBIs, Tyler Gregg went 1-3 with 2 RBIs and Zeke Flattmann was 1-3 with a double.

This season will be the first time Craig has coached alongside his son Andrew, who played baseball at the University of Louisiana-Monroe. Andrew played for the Green Wave in high school, where he won a state championship, and Graning won a state championship with Charles Henderson High School in Troy.

“They both bring a lot of energy to the program and discipline. In baseball, you have to be disciplined. You have to concentrate and pay attention the whole time. (Andrew and Wright) have spent a good deal of time instilling that in our kids,” Craig said. “I think it is more exciting for the kids to see someone who played at D1 and to see them be so attentive to instruction at practice. It is exciting to me to see these young kids relate to (Andrew) and how he is now trying to pass it on to them.”