Vidalia turns showdown into laugher with four-inning victory

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 27, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; When they gather around the water cooler or on porches to reminisce about the quality of baseball in the Cathedral-Vidalia series in years to come, put your money on red to win that Thursday night will be left out.

The two teams combined for nine errors, seven of which laid on the doorstep for the Green Wave (7-5), in a 4-inning shortened 18-5 Vidalia victory.

&uot;We had no intensity, no desire, no competitiveness tonight,&uot; Cathedral head coach Craig Beesley said. &uot;We laid over early in the game. I hope this can get us back on track. Right now everybody is down and disappointed.&uot;

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Four hurlers stood atop the mound for the Greenies with none going further than starter Te Riley’s 2 and 1/3 innings.

The Vikings (16-0) got 11 runs on four hits through the first three innings and then added seven more in the fourth to finish the roast.

&uot;They were out of sync defensively, but we put some pressure on them,&uot; Vidalia head coach Johnny Lee Hoffpauir said. &uot;We want the kids to try to play like it’s a 0-0 lead out there and continue to apply pressure on the other team.

&uot;We hit the ball and did things we needed to do at the plate well.&uot;

Watching the opening batter told the story of the game. Vidalia’s Trey White reached base when the Green Wave’s Garrett Jones did not drag his glove on a routine grounder.

White, who Hoffpauir called a triple waiting to happen due to his speed, stole second and third and crossed for the game’s first run when Barry Bowden singled home the first of four runs-batted in.

Vidalia added three more runs &045; just one earned &045; to put the Green Wave behind 4-zip before they ever came to the plate.

&uot;Earlier this year our pitching was good and one of our strengths,&uot; Beesley said. &uot;Lately, though, we’ve been struggling to throw strikes and having our problems out on the mound.&uot;

After the Vikings added another unearned run in the top of the second, Cathedral found life in its half of the second.

After Wyler Murray popped out to start the inning, Vidalia starter Mac Ware began struggling to find the strike zone.

He walked Rodney Daggett and Michael Blain back to back and then served up a run-scoring single from Preston Hicks and then a two-RBI triple from ninth man Andrew Kaiser.

The Green Wave chased Ware for Bowden and then tied the game 5-all when Ware &045; playing shortstop &045; threw wide of the bag at second, allowing Kaiser and Jones to score.

&uot;It gave us a chance to get back in the game and then we go right back and give them six runs on one hit,&uot; Beesley said. &uot;It’s hard to do anything when we give that many runs up without them working for it.&uot;

Bowden’s gapper ushered him to second standing up and brought three more Vikings across home plate.

Riley and reliever Brent Tosspon walked four batters and hit another in the third inning.

&uot;After (Cathedral) tied it up, I was real proud of the way our kids stay focused,&uot; Hoffpauir said. &uot;We struck out a bunch at the plate, but overall I liked our approach up there. We took our hits where we could.&uot;

Bowden settled the troops, surrendering just two hits over the final two innings and fanning five Green Wave batters.

&uot;Barry had his stuff tonight. He was throwing in the high 80s and with his curve working he’s tough to hit,&uot; Hoffpauir said.

The two teams lock up next Wednesday in Vidalia to make up a doubleheader that got rained out on March 17

Hoffpauir expects to see a Cathedral team that has given him so many memories of the friendly rivalry between the two teams.

&uot;That’s a real good team Cathedral has and I guarantee you when they come over to our place next week it’s going to be a whole different ball game,&uot; he said.