Cathedral rallies for victory over St. Aloysius|[03/30/08]

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 30, 2008

Not running out dropped pop-ups and not covering bags on routine ground balls in bases-loaded situations led St. Aloysius to give away its game with Catholic school rival Natchez Cathedral 5-4 Saturday afternoon at Bazinsky Field.

Cathedral (12-2) broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh with three runs and then held on after a late St. Al rally in the bottom of the seventh to escape and drop the Flashes to 13-4 on the season.

“Neither team played well and we tried to let them back in it after we got the three-run lead,” Cathedral coach Craig Beesley said. “I was glad to see my young pitcher (Dylan White) throw strikes to get us out of it.”

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White recovered after giving up a one-out RBI triple to Kruz Federick in the bottom of the seventh. After Blake Haygood plated Federick on a grounder to second to make it 5-4, White struck out Judson Gatling to end the game.

St. Al coach Clint Wilkerson did not hide his ire for his team’s lack of toughness.

“We gave it away, bottom line. We didn’t fight and Cathedral did. We are mentally weak, that’s all you could say. We were lackadaisical and just about any other negative thing you could think of,” Wilkerson said.

The meltdowns started in the Cathedral fifth with St. Al guarding a 2-1 lead. Blase Bradford led off with a walk and then went to second on Jesse Morrison’s one-out hit to left off St. Al reliever Stephen Evans.

Preston Edwards then sent a ball toward second base. Pierson Waring made the flip over to covering shortstop Ryno Martin-Nez for the force out of Morrison. Bradford appeared to stray too far off third base and Martin-Nez went to third in an effort to catch the lead runner in a rundown. The relay throw to Justin Rushing, however, was dropped allowing Bradford to score the tying run.

In the St. Al sixth, Regan Nosser led off and hit a pop up to second. When it appeared Bradford, who was playing second for the Waves, was about to catch it, Nosser stopped and peeled off to the dugout. Bradford, though, dropped the ball. He recovered in time to throw out Nosser.

The lost opportunity would prove critical after Gatling and Waring both singled. Instead of one out and one run in, there were two out and two on for Martin-Nez. He walked to bring up Evans. Evans worked White to a full count but was called out on a close 3-2 pitch.

In the seventh, Braxton Fondren doubled off Evans, who was beginning his fourth inning of relief. Morrison followed with a single. Martin-Nez was brought in to face Edwards and he responded with a strikeout. Caleb Johnson, however, got enough of a ground ball to third to score Fondren for a 3-2 lead.

Aaron White then laid down a squeeze bunt to score Morrison.

A third straight ground ball was misplayed by first baseman Joseph Brown to allow Johnson to score to make it 5-2.

Brandon 9, St. Aloysius 1

In the second game Saturday, Brandon’s Jason Hicks doubled and homered to lead Class 5A Brandon past the Flashes.

Sean Weaver singled and doubled as St. Al managed four hits.

Brandon led 6-0 at the end of the third inning.