Vikings win, fight for first

Published 1:08 am Tuesday, April 7, 2009

VIDALIA — After starting the season 5-9 and losing their first district game to Bunkie, the outlook was gloomy for the Vidalia Vikings baseball team. After a 17-4 win over Avoyelles Monday night, they are now 3-1 in District 3-3A and fighting for a title.

“This puts us right back into the district race,” Vidalia head coach Johnny Lee Hoffpauir said. “If these kids can keep up this intensity, we could end up with a district title.”

Vidalia (8-9, 3-1) scored 16 runs in the second inning thanks to poor pitching and errors by Avoyelles.

Email newsletter signup

Avoyelles walked eight Viking batters and used four pitchers in the second inning.

A few Vidalia batters hit the ball in the inning including Ben Parnham who hit a single and a double.

Vidalia used three pitchers in the game, a new tactic that Hoffpauir has used in the last three games after struggling to find a pitcher who could last more than two or three innings.

“I said from the beginning that I would use the whole rotation every game if I had to,” Hoffpauir said. “We’ve done it three games in a row so far and it’s working out good. We will see how things go.”

The Mustangs attempted a late rally in the fifth inning, but couldn’t score enough to erase the 10-run mercy rule and the game ended 17-4 after five innings.

“They played with great intensity after that long second inning which was very good,” Hoffpauir said. “We started out district play like this last year so who knows what will happen.”

Mason Ozburn picked up the win for Vidalia while Laderius Durkin was handed the loss for Avoyelles.

Ozburn batted 2-for-2 with a double, a single, and a walk for the Vikings while teammate Seth Barlow batted 2-for-2 with two singles and a hit-by-pitch.

Robert Thames was the only Mustang batter to get multiple hits with a double and a single on the night.

Vidalia continues district play Thursday at Bunkie.