Rally lifts VHS to win; Monterey edges Jena

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 7, 2003

ALEXANDRIA, La. &045; Good thing Mac Ware was on top of his game Friday.

The Vidalia Vikings got some defensive stops at critical times behind him aside from five errors, and Ware ended the game with six strikeouts and just one walk. But the routine plays were hard to come by as the Vikings scored two in a their last at-bat to down Bunkie, 3-2, in the Bolton tournament.

The Vikings (5-0) play again at 11:15 a.m. today against Leesville. A win would put them playing at 8 p.m. in the finals.

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&uot;We’re not hitting the ball right now, but that’s not to discredit their pitching,&uot; Vidalia head coach John Lee Hoffpauir said. &uot;They’ve got good pitching. I was pleased how our kids never gave up. We didn’t hit the ball, but we kept digging and found a way to win. And we got great pitching from Mac Ware.&uot;

The Vikings trailed 2-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh when Ty Eicemann led off with a double. Brett Hinson struck out, and Hank Marling singled Eicemann to third before going to second on a passed ball.

Jeffrey Anderson got Eicemann home on a squeeze play, moved Marling to third and reached first on the play. Marling then got the sign to steal second, and Bunkie’s catcher threw to an uncovered bag to allow Marling to score the game-winning run.

The Vikings finished the game with five errors, and Bunkie tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth when its leadoff man reached on an error and scored on a single by Jarred Brian.

Ware then yielded a homer to Ben Michel in the sixth to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead.

&uot;It helped how Mac gave up one walk with our erratic defense,&uot; Hoffpauir said. &uot;We made great defensive plays, but the inability to make routine plays &045; we’ve got to work on them.&uot;

Monterey 3, Jena 2

HARRISONBURG, La. &045; Only two batters in the entire Monterey lineup made solid contact against Jena starter Adam Jones, but it was good enough.

Philip Bryan bested Jena’s starter, and the Wolves got key contributions at the plate from Bryan and A.J. Smith to take the win in the opening round of the Harrisonburg tournament.

Bryan struck out 10 and walked four while holding the Giants to just three hits.

The Wolves (5-0) play Harrisonburg today in the semifinals.

&uot;He had everything working today,&uot; Monterey head coach Hank Zizzi said. &uot;His split-finger was working great, and his fastball was moving real well. All of his pitches were working.&uot;

Jones finished with 14 strikeouts and allowed just four hits, but he lost a 1-0 lead in fourth when Bryan doubled and Smith came behind him with a home run for a 2-1 Monterey lead.

Jena tacked on a run in the fifth, but the Wolves scored again in the sixth when Chad Thomas walked with the bases loaded to score Ryan Perkins, who reached on an error and moved up on singles from Bryan and Smith.

&uot;They calmed us pretty good, too,&uot; Zizzi said. &uot;He did a good job of pitching. But we hit the ball when we needed to.&uot;