Cathedral swept by Copiah Academy in MAIS District 3-5A doubleheader

Published 10:46 am Wednesday, April 20, 2022

GALLMAN — Cathedral High School’s varsity baseball team jumped out early leads over Copiah Academy in both games of last Tuesday afternoon’s MAIS District 3-5A doubleheader, but the Colonels would not let those leads last very long.

Drake Bayles struck out 11 batters and walked none as Copiah Academy used a three-run fifth inning to pull away for a 5-1 win over Cathedral in Game 1 and Tanner Hollingsworth’s RBI triple in the bottom of the second inning sparked the Colonels to a 7-1 win over the Green Wave in Game 2.

In the first game of the varsity doubleheader, Noah Russ led off the game with a solo home run. That was one of just three hits that Bayles allowed in a complete-game outing. Russ also had a double in his 2-for-3 performance at the plate. Jake Hairston had the other base hit for Cathedral as he went 1-for-3.

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“We struggled offensively and made some mistakes defensively,” Cathedral head coach Craig Beesley said. “(Bayles) had some good stuff. Noah hit the first pitch of the game for a home run, but we couldn’t add anything to that.”

Copiah Academy tied the game in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI fielder’s choice by Brennan Thomas and took the lead for good with one run in the bottom of the third. An error by the Green Wave brought in the first of what would be three runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Gunner McKee went 1-for-3 with two runs batted in while JD Weed was 1-for-2 with one run scored. Thomas finished 1-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored while Bayles was 1-for-3.

Jake Maples held the Colonels to one earned run on just four hits and struck out three batters over six innings, but he also walked two batters, hit two batters, threw two wild pitches and the defense behind him committed four errors.

“The one thing that’s been consistent for us all year long is our pitching,” Beesley said. “I’ve been very pleased with our four pitchers this season.”

Game two started with Russ reaching first base safely and he scored on a triple by Jackson Navarro in the top of the first inning as Cathedral once again grabbed a quick 1-0 lead. Navarro was 1-for-4 with the one RBI.

However, Copiah Academy thanks to Hollingsworth’s triple and a walk by Trey Wood that gave the Colonels a 2-1 lead. They added two runs in the bottom of the third inning and three runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Chris Ellis got the win despite a shaky complete-game performance on the mound. He did so by allowing just one earned run on three hits while striking out seven batters and being aided by a defense that committed no errors. Ellis also walked four batters, hit one batter, and threw two wild pitches.

Drake Bayles led the Colonels’ eight-hit barrage by going 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Gunner McKee was 1-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored, Hollingsworth was 1-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored, and JD Weed was 1-for-4 with a double.

Jake Hairston was charged with the loss after allowing seven runs, five of them earned, on eight hits with five strikeouts, three walks, one hit batter, and two wild pitches in five innings. Hairston also went 1-for-3 at the plate.

“He pitched well. We should’ve made some plays behind him that we didn’t make,” Beesley said. “They hit the ball after we made a couple of mistakes.”

Mason Moore pitched the sixth inning after Hairston threw 105 pitches in his time on the mound. Moore struck out two batters and walked one.

For the second straight game, the Green Wave struggled at the plate and in the field. They had just three base hits and committed four errors. Jake Maples was the other Cathedral player to have a base hit as he went 1-for-3.

Cathedral fell to 15-12 overall and finished with a 7-8 record in District 3-5A and earned a playoff berth in the MAIS Class 5A South State Playoffs, which starts next week.

“We finished fourth in district and we’ll open up the playoffs next week against Brookhaven Academy,” Beesley said. “We’ll get a good look at what they have this Thursday and Friday.”

The Green Wave played host to Brookhaven Academy on Thursday with the junior varsity game at 4:30 p.m., followed by the varsity game at 6:30 p.m. Cathedral then play at Brookhaven Academy on Friday at 6 p.m. for a varsity-only contest.

Jake Hairston was charged with the loss after allowing seven runs, five of them earned, on eight hits with five strikeouts, three walks, one hit batter, and two wild pitches in five innings. Hairston also went 1-for-3 at the plate.

Mason Moore pitched the sixth inning after Hairston threw 105 pitches in his time on the mound. Moore struck out two batters and walked one.

For the second straight game, the Green Wave struggled at the plate and in the field. They had just three base hits and committed four errors. Jake Maples was the other Cathedral player to have a base hit as he went 1-for-3.

Cathedral fell to 15-12 overall and finished with a 7-8 record in District 3-5A and earned a playoff berth in the MAIS Class 5A South State Playoffs, which starts next week.

The Green Wave played host to Brookhaven Academy on Thursday with the junior varsity game at 4:30 p.m., followed by the varsity game at 6:30 p.m. Cathedral then play at Brookhaven Academy on Friday at 6 p.m. for a varsity-only contest.