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Vikings advance to quarterfinals
from The Concordia Sentinel
May 3, 2018 -

Vidalia High’s baseball team defeated Vinton 13-3 Saturday to clinch its second round playoff series against the Lions in Vinton.

“Their coach gave us the best compliment,” Vidalia coach Michael Norris said. “He called me this week and told me we had the scrappiest bunch. We had to win three games in the final week — coming back in all three — to get to 20 wins and clinch the district. Our guys have been conditioned for these types of games. We have been through the fire.

Vidalia will travel to No. 1 Kinder Friday for a single game, and for two games Saturday, if necessary.

The last time Vidaila advanced to the quarterfinals was in 2007 when the Vikngs defeated Many and Episcopal before falling to St. Charles.

Vidalia, the No. 9 seed, won its first game Friday against No. 8 Vinton, defeating the Lions 9-6, scoring five runs in the top of the seventh inning.

The Vikings lost the second game 5-1 Saturday morning, forcing a third and deciding contest.

The winner of the Kinder-Vidalia series will advance to Sulphur for single elimination semifinal and final contests.

The Vikings trailed Vinton 5-4 going into the top of the ninth.

Tristan Weatherly went the distance Friday in Vidalia’s 9-6 win, allowing five hits, walking four and striking out seven.

“There are some coaches who will start their No. 1 pitcher in the second game so they don’t have to pitch against the other team’s No. 1,” Norris said. “I’m of the mindset I want to win that first one. The score did not reflect how well Tristan threw. They had to use their No. 1 and No. 2 pitcher. I felt like we were in good shape after that.”

Weatherly helped himself at the plate with two singles and a walk.

Leo Lozano singled twice and walked.

Tony Tolliver singled and walked.

Nick Melton, Dominik Harveston and Christian Fort singled, while Cam Rodgers walked.

Vinton lost the second game 5-1, scoring three runs in the third inning.

Harveston tripled and singled twice.

Weatherly doubled and singled twice.

Peyton Fort singled.

“Our kids heads were hanging a little bit after that game,” Norris said.

Norris also had to worry about the fact Vidalia’s prom was Saturday night, which was why the first game was at 10 a.m.. But that turned out not to be a factor at all.

After Vinton scored two runs in its first at-bat in the final game, Vidalia scored eight runs in the second inning.

“After they scored two runs our kids came in the dugout with an intensity I haven’t seen all year,” Norris said. “They were focused on one thing. Leo (Lozano) did a great job on the mound. He is so good at forcing the groundball or pop-up. I knew we were in good shape with the pitching staff we have.”

The Vikings added three in the fourth and one in the fifth and sixth. The game ended by 10-run rule after six innings.

Tolliver tripled, singled and walked.

Rodgers doubled and singled three times.

Harveston singled twice.

Peyton Fort and Weatherly singled and walked. Nick Melton and Lozano both singled.

Brett Walsworth singled and scored two runs. Brandon Bozeman scored two runs.

The first game Friday will be at 6 p.m. in Kinder. The second game is slated for 12:30 p.m.., with a third game to follow, if necessary.

“At this point, all eight teams are capable of winning it,” Norris said. “We have only been blown out in one game - that was Sterlington. Even though we have 23 wins, I think we’re better than our record shows.”

 Read more from the Concordia Sentinel.

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