Strong field expected in Vidalia tourney

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 7, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – While not all of the teams participating in the Vidalia Baseball Tournament starting today are from this area, the tournament still will have a distinct local flavor.

The eight team tourney is highlighted by the return of several coaches who should be well known to local baseball fans.

Hampton (Ark.) is led by former ACCS skipper Greg Harris, and his team will face Springhill on Friday at 7:45 p.m., coached by Vidalia High School graduate Bill Moseley.

Email newsletter signup

Jena opens the tournament today at 4:30 p.m. when it squares off against Winnsboro. Jena is led by Bernie Cooley, a Vidalia graduate and former player under Viking Head Coach Johnny Lee Hoffpauir.

&uot;I firmly believe that this is the best high school baseball tournament in this area if not all of Central Louisiana,&uot; Hoffpauir said. &uot;We have held this tournament since 1994, and this time it is probably the most even field we have ever had.

The outcome will most likely come down to whose pitching is in the best shape heading into the tournament.&uot;

Thursday’s second game will feature Cathedral and Harrisonburg at 6:45 p.m., while host Vidalia takes the field on Friday at 5:30 p.m. against Crowville.

The finals are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

&uot;We just hope the weather will hold off for us this weekend,&uot; Hoffpauir said. &uot;Last year we were not able to get the tournament completed because of the rain. I know we have already missed several games this year because of bad weather, and I’m sure all the coaches need to get a few games in before they get deep into district play.&uot;

The Vikings will be one of the favorites in the tournament as they take a sparkling 6-1 record into Friday’s contest.

Cathedral is also expected to make a strong showing thanks to one of the better pitching staffs in the eight-team field.