Frisbee’s hit puts Flashes one win from South title
Published 12:00 am Friday, May 3, 2002
JOE GRAVES, St. Al’s coach, talks to Alex Frisbee, left, and Dan Muirhead (20).(The Vicksburg Post/C. TODD SHERMAN)
[05/03/02]St. Aloysius went from a team facing playoff elimination to mobbing each other on pitcher’s mound all in the span of half an inning.
Alex Frisbee’s bases-loaded single in the bottom of the seventh capped a four-run final inning to lift the Flashes (22-3) to a 6-5 win over archrival Cathedral (17-11) in the opening game of the South State championship series.
Game 2 in the best-of-three series is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. in Natchez. The winner of this series will meet either Myrtle or Hamilton in the state championship. Myrtle holds a 1-0 series lead.
“We were all fired up and everyone stepped up when they needed to,” said St. Al’s Blake Warnock, who had two singles, a double and two RBIs. “We all wanted to win this game. That’s all it was.”
Frisbee’s hit not only came off of Cathedral ace Chris Norris, it put the finishing touches on what coach Joe Graves called the best comeback in St. Al baseball history.
The Flashes led 2-1 going into the seventh inning with their ace, Aaron George, on the mound.
Cathedral’s Jeremy Davis led off the seventh with a solo home run to tie the game 2-2, then the Green Wave mixed clutch hitting and a St. Aloysius’ defensive meltdown to take the lead.
Cathedral got RBI doubles from Wyler Murray and Clay Hammons and three straight St. Al fielding errors to go up 5-2 going into the bottom of the seventh. The Flashes committed six errors in the game.
“I thought, well, it could be over,’ ” St. Al coach Joe Graves said. “When it was 5-2 I was just shaking my head wondering what do we have to do.”
Davis almost put the game away with a bases-loaded shot to deep left field, almost the exact spot of his first home run of the inning.
“I kept telling Walker (Hengst) you got room you got room,’ ” Warnock said.
“He caught it and hit the wall. That’s how close it was.”
Jason Brown led off the bottom of the seventh with a hard-fought double off losing pitcher Bert Goldman. Brown, projected as Saturday’s starting pitcher, fouled off four straight pitches on a full count before ripping the double to center.
“I think the biggest thing that turned us around was Jason Brown’s at-bat,” Graves said. “He battled and battled. I told him to hit off his back side, get his hands through the baseball and he ripped a double. That started the wheels rolling.”
Warnock followed with an RBI double. Bart Lane replaced Goldman, but Cathedral coach Ken Beesley elected to pitch to George with first base open and no outs. George leads the team with a .514 batting average.
“We were just trying to get an out,” said Beesley, whose team lost three times to St. Al this year. “We were hoping he’d get a long flyout, but he didn’t. He ripped a double.”
George’s shot scored Warnock to pull the Flashes to within one run and chased Lane in favor of Norris. The hard-throwing lefty was pitching his third game of the week.
Hengst reached on a fielder’s choice error and Rob Jones, running for George, beat an attempted force out throw to third on a Victor Segers bunt to load the bases with no outs.
After an forceout at home, Norris walked Dan Muirhead to tie the game 5-5.
Frisbee followed with a first-pitch single between third and shortstop to score Segers.
“God helped me,” Frisbee said. “I prayed and He was with me. He kept me from getting nervous and He was there when I hit the ball.
“I knew he was going to bring that first pitch in there so I just jumped on it.”
Frisbee had a pair of singles in the game, while George had three hits and Charlie Amborn had a pair of singles in the Flashes’ 13-hit attack.
Goldman kept St. Al off the board until the fifth when Warnock scored Amborn on a sacrifice fly and Jones, again running for George, scored on a Cathedral error for a 2-1 lead.
Cathedral got an RBI single in the top of the fourth by Garrett Jones for a 1-0 lead.
Norris pitched a third of an inning to take the loss.
“You just don’t get over a loss like that,” said Beesley, whose team lost a 10-inning thriller to St. Al last month. “It will take a while, but we’ll regroup.”
The Flashes are a win away from the state championship series, but Graves is not taking it easy. He said the team will practice hard today for Saturday’s showdown.
“They’re having to pull at straws a little and are thinking what do we have to do to beat this team?’ ” Graves said.
“… It’s a have-to situation for them, I have Jason (Brown) fresh and they’ve used all their pitchers. They are at a disadvantage right now.”