Streaking Cathedral rips St. Al

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 8, 2004

[4/8/04]NATCHEZ Joe Graves knew this was going to be a tough season.

Not that it’s been a forgettable one, but the St. Aloysius coach hadn’t been on the receiving end of two 10-run-rule losses in one season to Cathedral in quite some time.

The second one came Friday when the Green Wave got a couple key hits and took advantage of six errors for a 12-2 win in five innings.

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It gave the Green Wave the Division 7-1A championship to earn the right to host the opening-round four-team tournament to start the playoffs. If there’s something special going on with a team that probably has a better chance of going far than in the last two seasons, this may be it.

“I think with Cathedral they’ve got the talent and pitching to win the whole show,” Graves said. “If they can get by Mize, I’m hoping to face them again (in the playoffs), and we’ll hopefully give them a better show at it. I’m not used to this.

“We’ve got to rebuild and get some kids to where they can be competitive.”

The Green Wave aren’t used to dominating the Flashes, either. The two teams split last season after the Flashes took a best-of-three series against Cathedral for the South State title in 2002.

All were tight affairs. But much like everyone else in the division, the Flashes weren’t much of a match this season.

“We’re hot right now,” said Cathedral junior Jeremy Davis, who smacked a three-run homer in the first. “We’re hoping to keep it going coming into the playoffs. But it definitely feels good. That was a big game (11-0 up there). We hadn’t 10-run-ruled St. Al I don’t remember ever.

“Since then we’ve been hot. And our pitching is doing a real good job.”

The Green Wave, playing in its third game in three days, didn’t really blister St. Al (9-9) starter Marsh Willis but put the ball in play consistently enough to make things happen. Willis, a freshman, threw all five and served up a steady dose of curveballs, and the Wave finished the game with seven hits but no strikeouts.

But it may confirm Cathedral head coach Craig Beesley’s suspicion of how people are going to pitch his team lots of junk, no fastballs down broadway and let the defense play.

“I knew before the game he was going to throw,” Beesley said. “He’s a curveball pitcher, but I didn’t know it would be that many curveballs. I think that’s going to be constant come playoff time.

“People are going to start throwing offspeed slow, slower and slower.”

Davis, however, got a hold of one curveball up in the zone and got the best of it. While the curveballs made the Green Wave pound a number of pitches in the dirt for groundouts, Davis got his club on the board in the first inning with a mammoth home run.

Davis put it over the left field fence, and the ball bounced off the pavement and landed in the fenced-in yard of the armory.

Other than that, the Green Wave kept putting it in play with a couple nice shots here and there. In the second the Wave put up three runs on three hits, two of them infield singles.

The Flashes, however, hurt their own cause with two errors. Drew Burns reached on an error and scored, and Garrett Jones scored on another error.

“(Willis) is doing a good job, but we haven’t supported him,” Graves said. “When nobody is making a play for you, it gets you frustrated and gets you down.”