Vidalia Minors takes another four-inning victory to advance

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 17, 2003

FERRIDAY, La. &045; Good pitching and aggressive baserunning is the best way Vidalia’s Minor League All-Stars know how to do business.

Both of those aspects came up big Monday in an 11-1 win in four innings over Catahoula at the South Sub-district tournament at George Perry Field in Ferriday, and both were key in getting the club to the winners’ bracket final today against South Franklin.

After a strong outing from Jake Winston Monday, Vidalia goes in with enough pitching left to be quite flexible.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;I’ve got a lot of kids with innings left to throw out there,&uot; said head coach Tam Winston, whose club opened Sunday with a 18-8 win over Winnsboro. &uot;We won’t have Jake, but we’ll have other kids who can step up there. I think we’ve got seven kids that can step up on the mound, and we have one who can be dominating if he’s on. So we’ve got some good kids that can pitch.&uot;

All that leaves Vidalia in nice, nice standing for the remainder of the tournament. Then the baserunning came into play and took advantage of Catahoula’s struggles in the field and on the mound.

Catahoula finished with eight errors while its three pitchers combined to walk 13 and hit two batters.

&uot;Nervousness &045; a lot of these guys are young and in their first all-star game,&uot; Catahoula head coach John Smith said. &uot;We didn’t play to our capabilities. We were just a little nervous.&uot;

Things really went awry in Vidalia’s last at-bat as Catahoula used two pitchers before allowing five runs to end the game early. Walks to Dylan Parker and Brenan Eujen before Tri McCoy was hit by a pitch loaded with bases with no outs before Cory Williams put one in play Catahoula made an error on to score two.

Cory Wadlington was hit by a pitch, and Tucker Bruce walked to load the bases again before Matt Souderes walked to score Wiliams for a 9-1 lead. Devin Barnes walked to score Wadlington, and Michael Nelson’s looper to short fell in to score Bruce to end the game.

&uot;We were aggressive on the basepaths again,&uot; Tam Winston said. &uot;We got a few timely hits when we needed them. We feel very, very fortunate. They (Catahoula) didn’t have a lot of control. Our kids were taking their cuts, but they weren’t pitching good pitches up there. We took advantage of their wildness and were aggressive on the basepaths.&uot;

The baserunning created problems in the early innings as Vidalia took the early lead. In the first Jake Winston scored the first run when he walked, stole second, went to third on the overthrow and scored on a wild pitch. Dee Fleming later walked, stole second and third and scored on an error.

In the third Jake Winston delivered the biggest hit when his single scored Souderes and Barnes for a 4-1 lead. He went to second on an error, stole third and scored on a wild pitch. Holden Hill then walked, stole second, went to third on the overthrow and scored when the overthrow went all the way to the fence.

&uot;It’s a good bunch of kids when they play control baseball,&uot; Tam Winston said. &uot;That’s the key to us &045; when we play control baseball. This is kind of a special group. They’re very capable, and sometimes they don’t play up to their capabilities. But when they do play up to their capabilities, they’re a tough team to beat.&uot;

Jake Winston was tough to beat on the mound as he finished the game with seven strikeouts while allowing three hits and no walks. Catahoula got to him early &045; Tyler Myers’ double down the left-field line scored VaShawn Davis all the way from first to cut the lead to 2-1 &045; before the Vidalia right-hander settled in.

After that he started going with the gas and got five of his six outs in the last two innings on strikeouts.

&uot;He was throwing well today, had a lot of control and was throwing really hard,&uot; Tam Winston said. &uot;Their kid (Davis) was throwing hard but got a little wild. Jake threw much harder in the third and fourth innings than he did in the first. He was ready to play. But all of our kids were ready to play.&uot;