‘I’m blessed,’ Russ named 2022 All-Metro Baseball Player of the Year

Published 6:18 pm Friday, May 20, 2022

NATCHEZ — Cathedral junior pitcher Noah Russ has an explosive bat, led the team with three home runs, was perfect in center field committing no errors and was an outstanding pitcher for the Green Wave. He tossed 61 innings of work, struck out 79 batters, and had an ERA of 2.22 and 1.27 Walks and Hits Per Innings Pitched (WHIP).

A dual-sport athlete, he maintains a 4.21 GPA and is the quarterback of the football team. He was named to the MAIS 5A All-District 1st team in baseball and earned the team’s overall MVP. He can add another honor to the list as he earns The Natchez Democrat’s 2022 All-Metro Baseball Player of the Year. 

“I’m blessed. I’m thankful for all my coaches, teammates and my family. Everyone has helped me get better,” Russ said. 

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He started pitching as a 10-year-old and has stuck with it ever since. Long tossing is how he has managed to build arm strength over the years and he improved his location, velocity and breaking balls this season. 

From the rubber, he said he has consistent command where he can place the ball wherever catcher, Zeke Flattemann needs it. His approach on the mound is to hit his spots and try to get the ball past the opposing hitter. 

If they do make contact then he has faith in his defense behind him. Russ said he enjoys pitching. 

“I love being involved in the game. I know the game is controlled by me,” he said. “Next season, I just want to keep getting better and get my velocity and location better.” 

At the plate, Russ had a solid year knocking three balls out of the park and picking up 21 hits. He tied Jake Maples for most RBI on the team at 23. He said there is a lot he could improve on for next season. 

This fall, Russ will start his final year of high school and is keeping his options open for college athletics. He could wind up playing football or baseball at the collegiate level.

Right now, he is focusing on baseball as he has a few showcases and summer baseball on the horizon. He is excited to play in those games. 

“I’m excited I’ll have an opportunity and I hope I make the most of it,” Russ said. 

The goal for next baseball season is to win a state championship, he said. Cathedral will have to do so under new head coach Andrew Beesley as Craig Beesley steps back to coach the Middle School squad. 

It will be a big change, Russ said. Craig has coached him since he started playing baseball at Cathedral in 7th grade. 

The Green Wave’s season ended in a playoff series loss to Brookhaven Academy but the series that sticks out the most to Russ is one against crosstown rivals Adams County Christian School.
“Our best moment as a team was sweeping AC. It is always good to beat your rivals and win a district series,” Russ said. “We played really well that whole series.”