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Junior college baseball doubleheader set for Saturday

VIDALIA — Local baseball fans looking to feed their hunger for the diamond are invited to the Concordia Recreation District 3 complex Saturday afternoon.

That was the message Vidalia Parks and Recreation Director Johnny Lee Hoffpauir had for locals as the complex is set to host two junior colleges for a Saturday doubleheader.

Pearl River Community College, coached by Hoffpauir’s son Josh Hoffpauir, and Baton Rouge Community College will square off in two nine-inning games, beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday on Cliff Merritt Memorial Field. The doubleheader will mark the season opener for Baton Rouge.

“I think this is a great opportunity for the area to kick off the baseball season,” Hoffpauir said. “I know all the rabid fans we have, and I’m inviting them to come watch a good brand of baseball.”

Wet weather the past few days has dampened the fields, but Hoffpauir insisted things were moving forward as planned as of Thursday afternoon.

“We’ll make a final decision (today),” Hoffpauir said. “I think the weather will be pretty decent Saturday, so if we can get this thing in, it could be a good day for baseball.”

Hoffpauir also extended a special invitation to area baseball teams.

“We’re inviting all the schools to come in and see a college game,” he said. “It’s not often you get one in your hometown, and we would love to see a great turnout.”

The complex hosted the same two teams for a doubleheader last year, and Hoffpauir said the strong turnout back then was a major factor in bringing both teams back this year. He’s hopeful of more matchups in the future if the turnout is good again Saturday.

“It’s a perfect opportunity for people who love the game to come see how it’s played,” he said. “If we can make this successful, we feel like we can make it a yearly event.”

Admission is $5, and concessions will be available. Hoffpauir said the opportunity is too good to pass up, especially for younger players.

“Me being an old baseball coach, if the opportunity came around, my team would be there to get those juices flowing for baseball,” he said. “Maybe we can close the door on winter if we can get it going.”

For more information, call Hoffpauir at 601-597-8924.