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Handjis leads way for Vikings

VIDALIA — In a must-win situation for the Vidalia Vikings, pitcher William Handjis came through in a big way in a complete-game performance in leading them to a 4-1 win over the Avoyelles Mustangs Monday afternoon.

In the regular-season and LHSAA District 3-3A finale for both teams, Handjis held Avoyelles to one earned run on just three hits and two walks and he struck out six batters.

“William pitched a great game. They scattered a couple of hits. But he was pretty much on,” Vidalia head coach Kale Davis said. “When William’s on, he’s pretty good. He’s just a sophomore.”

With the win, Vidalia improved to 14-9 overall and finished district play with a 5-5 record. Despite the important victory in which the Vikings were the ‘visiting’ team on their home field, Davis said he doesn’t know if his team will make the postseason.

“I hope so. It’s close. We’ve done everything we could this past week to put ourselves in position to be part of the 32 (teams),” Davis said. “We want to get a taste of the playoffs.”

With Vidalia’s bats unable to get anything going through the first three innings, Handjis’s solid pitching not only kept the Vikings in the game, but it also kept Avoyelles off the scoreboard.

Then the Vikings finally broke through in the top of the fourth inning, Dylan Gautreau hit a leadoff double and went to third on a sacrifice fly. Stewart Mallory singled to bring in Gautreau for a 1-0 lead.

Vidalia scored its second run of the game in the top of the fifth inning and then added two runs in the top of the sixth. The Mustangs scored their only run of the game in the bottom of the sixth.

Davis said the fourth inning was the key to the team’s win after getting off to the slow start. The Vikings finished with seven hits in the game.