Bowden, VHS win; Wolves take 3-B crown

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 23, 2003

VIDALIA, La. &045; Barry Bowden refuses to be outdone. Even by himself.

After setting a record for strikeouts in a game with 16 the last time the Vikings played Ravville, Bowden topped it Tuesday by striking out 17 in a 9-0 win over those same Hornets to put the Vikings a game away from both a perfect season and the District 3-2A championship.

The Vikings end the regular season at 3:15 p.m. Thursday at home against Crowville.

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&uot;We haven’t got it clinched yet,&uot; Vidalia head coach Johnny Lee Hoffpauir said. &uot;We have to beat Crowville to win the district outright. We’re the only undefeated team in the state of Louisiana, and we may not even win district. We’ve talked about it. The kids know what’s on the line the next ball game. I think they’ll come out ready to play.&uot;

Bowden’s efforts on the mound picked up a night of sluggish hitting on the part of the Vikings. But Bowden allowed just 10 hitters to get out by putting the ball in play, and the Hornets got just two hits and didn’t get a walk from Bowden.

&uot;His curveball was pretty tough,&uot; Hoffpauir said. &uot;That’s what makes him so effective.&uot;

The Vikings scored two in the first off Rayville starter Brett Parker before being held scoreless until the fourth inning. In the first Trey White tripled and later scored on a Mac Ware groundout, and Bowden walked before scoring on a Reid Simpson groundout.

In the fourth Ty Eicemann and Jeffery Anderson walked, and Chris Ensminger drove them home with a double for a 4-0 lead.

&uot;You could tell we had a layoff,&uot; Hoffpauir said. &uot;We were sluggish at times. We had a long Easter weekend, and we had just one game last week. We had a good workout yesterday, but it’s nothing like swinging the bats live.&uot;

The Vikings added one in the fifth on a Bowden solo homer. They scored four in the sixth as White tripled in Chris Ensminger, Mac Ware launched a two-run homer and Brett Hinson singled in Simpson.

Monterey 12, Epps 1

EPPS, La. &045; When all else fails, go with your big dog and chalk the previous game up to a lesson in humility.

The Wolves (12-5, 7-1) regrouped from their 18-3 loss to Harrisonburg last week to pound Epps and take the District 3-B championship thanks in part to Phillip Bryan on the mound and A.J. Smith at the plate in the final game of the regular season.

The Wolves will draw a wild card in the first round of the playoffs when pairings are announced Saturday.

&uot;I think that woke them up to the fact that whenever they walk on the field they had to play ball,&uot; Monterey head coach Hank Zizzi said. &uot;People just don’t lay down. Of course, Phillip was in complete control the whole ball game, and A.J. was in control at the bat.&uot;

Bryan struck out 11 and walked none, while the Wolves jumped on Epps early to take an 11-0 lead heading into the bottom of the third inning. In the first Ryan Kemp doubled in a run, Smith singled in a run and Chad Thomas singled in Smith for a 3-0 lead.

In the second Smith doubled in two runs before Thomas and Max Green each singled in a run. In the third Ben Brallier and Perkins led off with walks before Ryan Kemp got Brallier home on a sacrifice fly. Smith singled in Perkins and later scored on an error.

They added another in the fifth on consecutive doubles from Kemp and Smith.