From dominating high school to leading the same junior college team to becoming vital pieces at Northeast Louisiana Division I schools, Andrew Beesley and Quinton Logan have traveled similar base paths in their respective careers.
That’s why sporting different colors and looking across from one another in opposing dugouts remains a surreal feeling for both.
After winning a state championship at Cathedral High School in Natchez, Miss., each player eventually made their way to Hinds Community College before Logan sported a Louisiana Tech jersey and Beesley donned ULM’s gold and maroon.
“It is kind of crazy thinking about it,” said Beesley, who was named the Sun Belt Player of the Week for tallying four multi-hit games last week with the Warhawks. “You know, coming out of high school, everybody knew Quinton was going to become a big deal because he was so dominant. I was good, but I was in the shadow of him. I always looked up to him because he’s such a good player with good work ethic. It’s crazy we’re now 30 miles apart and now rivals.”
Tuesday night’s encounter between the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs and ULM Warhawks won’t be the first time these two have faced one another as foes. In a March 26 contest, ULM snapped a seven-game losing streak by beating Louisiana Tech, 9-4. It’s a game Logan and his Louisiana Tech teammates haven’t soon forgotten.
“We let that game slip through our hands late,” said Logan, who pitched in relief during that loss. “We gave up one inning where they scored five runs. Our bullpen has gotten much stronger since then. We’ve been looking forward to playing again.”
Since that game, both ULM and Louisiana Tech have ripped off winning streaks. The Warhawks have won eight of their last 10, while Louisiana Tech has reeled off eight consecutive wins since the loss.
The former Cathedral athletes have played their part in that turnaround, though that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who followed their high school careers in Natchez. As a senior, Logan led Cathedral to an MHSAA Class A State Championship with a 9-0 record and 0.94 ERA, while Beesley, then a junior, hit .476.
After graduation, Logan went on to lead Hinds Community College in hitting with a .345 batting average while also getting it done on the mound for two seasons before signing with Louisiana Tech. He now exclusively pitches out of the pen for the Bulldogs and held a 3.00 ERA entering the Florida Atlantic series last weekend, which was third best on the team by pitchers who have thrown 15 innings or more.
“My consistency has gotten a lot better this year because last year I was just trying to be perfect,” Logan said. “When you come from JUCO, you’re not used to having this many fans and being on this big of a stage. So I think I was just nervous. But this year, I’ve just been playing my game.”
Beesley followed a similar route to Hinds after batting .385 at Southwest Mississippi Community College. As a sophomore at Hinds, Beesley hit .476 with eight home runs to earn MVP honors. Now as a junior at ULM, Beesley is second on the team with a .360 batting average and third on the team with 24 RBI.
“JUCO definitely humbled me because it’s a different world now,” Beesley said. “But it was one of the best times of my life. I’m glad I went that route because I wasn’t prepared for this level straight out of high school.”
To make their bond even tighter, it was Beesley’s father, Craig Beesley, who coached the two of them at Cathedral.
And the Cathedral baseball head coach recalled a familiar circumstance unfolding in the JUCO ranks that involved his former players, but this time, Logan actually got to pitch to Beesley.
“When Southwest and Hinds played, Andrew got to bat off of him twice, and Quinton got two ground balls off of Andrew that day,” Craig Beesley said. “I would love to see them do it again. Maybe Andrew could get him back. But on a serious note, I’m so proud of both of those guys. And that would be a really special moment. Both of them have had great high school and college careers.”
The opportunity to see Logan pitch to Beesley is something most people from Natchez would love to see. It’s something a lot of them hoped for the first time around actually, though Beesley admits he wasn’t one of them. Beesley wasn’t too upset he missed catching up with Logan inside the batter’s box.
“You know, I was kind of hoping for it, but at the same time, I don’t think I wanted to because I remember how good he was,” Beesley said.
If the moment arrives Tuesday night, Logan has already gotten instruction from his bigger brother, Sky Logan, who played football at the University of Texas at El Paso.
“He texted me the other day and told me I better strike him out,” said Logan with a smile.