Navarro, Ingram lead Cathedral to road win over Franklin County

Published 12:14 pm Friday, February 23, 2024

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BUDE — For the second time in three days, Cathedral High School had to travel to take on Franklin County High School. And Green Wave head coach Andrew Beesley allowed the Bulldogs from Meadville to be the ‘home’ team.

Which was something Cathedral would have been had it been able to play at Chester Willis Field, which is just about completely renovated and will be ready for play next week.

But even playing on the road hasn’t affected the Green Wave much in the early point in the 2024 season. That was evident again last Thursday night as they took care of the Franklin County Bulldogs 11-4.

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Cathedral took control of this game early as the Green Wave struck for four runs in the top of the first inning and added two runs in the top of the second inning before Franklin County scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the second.

The Green Wave responded with two runs of its own in the top of the third inning to take an 8-2 lead. Beesley noted it was important that his young team grabbed the early lead and kept the pressure on the Bulldogs.

“I thought we did a really good job jumping on them early, scoring four runs off the bat,” Beesley said. “We’re starting to swing the ball a little better. We’re a young team and we’re starting to learn more about how the game is played.”

After each team plated one run in the fourth inning, Franklin County put a little dent in Cathedral’s lead with one run in the bottom of the fifth inning to make it a 9-4 game. However, the Green Wave answered with two runs in the top of the seventh.

Jackson Navarro had two doubles and went 3-for-5 while Josh Ingram was 3-for-3 with a double to lead Cathedral’s 12-hit barrage. Drake Cox was 2-for-4 while Landon French and Walker Probst each had a double.

“Everybody’s starting to come together. They’re all starting to learn their role,” Beesley said.

Justin Arnold led Franklin County at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a double.

On the mound, Ethan Keith was the starting and winning pitcher. He went three innings and allowed two unearned runs on two hits, struck out six, and walked two. Tripp Wimberly came on in relief for the fourth and fifth innings, striking out three and walking none. French closed the game out by striking out two and walking none over two scoreless innings.

“I thought they did a pretty good job. They filled up the strike zone. When you walk two batters over seven innings, that’s something,” Beesley said. “I would like to see them get ahead in the count more often. I didn’t think they had their best stuff, but they competed on the mound.”

Cathedral (6-0) plays at Natchez High School at Chester Willis Field next Tuesday with the junior varsity game at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity game at 7 p.m.

“I’m really excited to see that field coming together. We’re excited to be back in Natchez and in front of a Natchez crowd. We’ve been on the road to start the season,” Beesley said.