Vidalia High School’s Kyle Cooley attempts to tag out Jonesboro-Hodge High School’s Elliott Blankenship at home plate during Saturday’s game at Vidalia baseball field. Blankenship was ruled safe. (Lauren Wood \ The Natchez Democrat)

VHS beats Jonesboro-Hodge

Published 12:28am Sunday, March 18, 2012

VIDALIA — A walkoff single by Devin Barnes sealed an 18-8 win for Vidalia Saturday night against Jonesboro-Hodge in a game that the Vikings almost let get away in the Vidalia High School Tournament.

Vidalia led 11-1 after three innings, but a rough top of the fourth, in which the Vikings made several errors, allowed Jonesboro-Hodge to crawl back and make it 11-8.

The Vikings settled down after that, driving in two runs in the bottom of the fourth and five runs in the bottom of the fifth, capped off by Barnes’ single. Vikings head coach Kale Davis said the game was a microcosm of the Vikings’ season up to this point.

“We came out and got up, then we hit a lull and got flat, almost like we were too comfortable,” Davis said. “Then the next thing you know, the other team was in the game.

“In the fifth inning we picked it up. We were able to lay a few bunts down back to back and create some scoring opportunities, and we were able to pull it out. Hopefully we get everything together when district play starts (Tuesday).”

Nathan Bozeman got the win for the Vikings, going all five innings and giving up eight runs, four earned, on six hits with eight strikeouts and four walks. The game was called after the bottom of the fifth due to the 10-runs-after-five mercy rule.

Nick Blundell took the loss for Jonesboro Hodge. He pitched 2 2/3 innings, surrendering 10 runs on eight hits with seven walks and three strikeouts.

Barnes and Stewart Mallory both had doubles for the Vikings, and Jamale Davis had a triple. Bozeman was 2-for-3 at the plate while Jamale Davis finished 2-for-4. Barnes went 3-for-4 on the night.

The Vikings (9-5) went 2-1 overall in the tournament, beating Delhi Parish High School 24-6 Saturday morning after dropping a tough game to West Feliciana High School 17-7 Friday night. Vidalia will host Jena Tuesday.