Silliman Institute rallies to beat Cathedral, ends playoff run

Published 12:27 pm Monday, May 1, 2023

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CLINTON, La. — The Cathedral High School Green Wave came close to forcing a Game 3 last Friday afternoon in the first round of the MAIS Class 5A South State Playoffs, but host Silliman Institute made sure that would not happen.

After District 3 No. 3 seed Cathedral scored one run in the top of the eighth inning to take a 5-4 lead, District 4 No. 2 seed Silliman Institute scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth for a dramatic 6-5 win as the Wildcats swept the best-of-three series from the Green Wave and advanced to the Class 5A South State semifinals.

“It was a well-played game all around. Both teams played hard,” Green Wave head coach Andrew Beesley said. “It was just one of those things where they just came out on top.”

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Beesley added that the Wildcats hit a couple of flares that found a hole in Cathedral’s defense that brought in both of their runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.

“There was nothing we could do about it. We made a great pitch, but they got the ball through the hole,” Beesley said.

Those two runs came off losing pitcher Jake Hairston, who allowed two hits, struck out three and walked two in one and one-third innings.

Sililman jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two innings of play, but Cathedral bounced back to take the lead thanks to a two-run home run by Tanner Wimberly in the top of the third inning and two more runs in the top of the fifth to grab a 4-3 lead.

However, the Wildcats responded with one run in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at 4-4. It would remain that way until the game went into extra innings — more specifically the eighth inning.

James Vines came on in relief for Silliman for the final three innings and held the Green Wave to just one earned run on one hit with five strikeouts and two walks He also helped his own cause by hitting a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning.

Cathedral had just five base hits in the game, with Wimberly leading the way by going 2-for-3. Silliman finished with eight hits. In addition to Vines’s home run, Klain (no first name given, had a double while Charles Hunt went 2-for-2 and Weston Wales was 2-for-4.

Even though Cathedral came up short in its effort to have a deep postseason run for first-year head coach Beesley, the Green Wave finished with an overall record of 20-7.

“We lost seven seniors off this year’s team. I’m just really proud of how they battled this season” Beesley said. “They laid the foundation for how we’re going to do things. I just hope we can continue to get better.”

Sililman Institute will next take on an all-too-familiar opponent in District 4 No. 4 seed Oak Forest Academy in the Class 5A South State semifinal round this week. The Yellow Jackets upset District 3 No. 1 seed St. Joseph Catholic School of Madison, a team in which many expected to be one of the favorites to win both the South State and State championships, in the first round