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Vikings get vital district win at home

Vidalia — Patience at the plate paid off for the Vidalia Vikings in a 5-0 victory against Caldwell Parish Wednesday in a must-win situation.

Vidalia, which is currently ranked No. 32 in Ken Ramsey’s power ratings, occupies the last slot for the playoffs, and the Vikings have to keep winning in order to secure a playoff spot.

“I’m proud of the way we competed today,” said Vidalia head coach Kale Davis on his team’s high-stakes situation. “We still left a lot of stranded runners, but we played solid defense.”

Caldwell’s Jacob Barton pitched 1.2 innings against the Vikings before he was pulled after giving up two runs and four walks. Stihl Smith and Kerry Franklin came in for relief. Between the three Spartan pitchers, Caldwell walked 10 Vidalia batters and threw five wild pitches, allowing Vidalia to jump on Caldwell, despite totaling only three hits in the game.

brittney lohmiller | The Natchez Democrat Vidalia High School’s William Handjis slides into home plate before Caldwell Parish’s pitcher Stihl Smith can throw the ball to catcher Zach Brown in the fourth inning Wednesday. Vidalia won 5-0.
brittney lohmiller | The Natchez Democrat
Vidalia High School’s William Handjis slides into home plate before Caldwell Parish’s pitcher Stihl Smith can throw the ball to catcher Zach Brown in the fourth inning Wednesday. Vidalia won 5-0.

“We’re just trying to take good approaches at the plate,” Davis said. “Other games we would get overaggressive early and get in a bind, so this game we came to the plate patiently.”

Vidalia’s William Handjis was in complete command for seven innings, pitching a shutout and allowing only one hit.

“William asked me if he could pitch this game two weeks ago,” Davis said. “He wanted it, and he took advantage of the opportunity.”

Vidalia scored its first run of the game by loading the bases with two outs in the second inning. Two runs were walked in and another run come in on a wild pitch to give Vidalia a 3-0 advantage after two innings.

Josh Foucher lined an RBI single in the fourth inning, and after another wild pitch thrown by Caldwell, the Vikings were up 5-0 after four innings.

Handjis finished the game with three strikeouts and two walks allowed.

The Vikings will play again at 6 p.m. today at home against Marksville.