Brixey has five RBIs for Vidalia in Vikings’ win vs. Cathedral

Published 12:42 am Sunday, March 14, 2010

NATCHEZ — Vidalia first baseman John Brixey said he enjoys being in the batter’s box in big situations.

And that was a good thing for Vidalia Saturday, as Brixey saw himself in two such situations against Cathedral — and delivered in both of them.

In the Vikings’ second matchup in the Vidalia Catfish Classic, Brixey led with 5 RBIs as they beat the Green Wave 11-5.

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“I love being in the spotlight,” Brixey said. “It’s what I live for. When the game’s on the line, I love that. I’m pretty comfortable up there.”

With Vidalia trailing the Green Wave 4-3 in the bottom of the third inning, Brixey came up with a runner on first, and sent a fastball over the right field porch, scoring two runs and putting Vidalia ahead.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Brixey belted in two more runs on a single. Three additional runs scored before the inning was over, giving Vidalia a comfortable 11-4 lead.

“In that first at-bat, I knew we were down and that I had to make something happen,” Brixey said. “Then, he fed me a fastball.

“In my next at-bat, all I can say is, the ball looked like a watermelon.”

Vikings coach Johnny Lee Hoffpauir said there’s a reason Brixey is his cleanup batter.

“He’s a great hitter with a short, compact swing,” Hoffpauir said. “That was his second home run of the season. Hitting in the four-hole, we rely a lot on him. He’s a hard out.”

The Vikings also won their first game of the tournament against Oak Hill 9-1. The two win puts Vidalia at 4-2 on the season.

“I’m proud of my team,” Hoffpauir said. “Those were two good ball clubs we beat. Oak Hill is the defending state champion in Class B. Overall, I thought the kids did a tremendous job, especially considering they probably didn’t get in until about 3 a.m. today (from the Class 3A basketball championship game).”

Cathedral, which won its first game against Jena 13-6, fell to 6-2 overall after the loss to Vidalia.

“I thought we swung the bat really well (in game two), but we just hit them right at people,” said Cathedral head coach Craig Beesley. “(Starter) Cole Mann held them down well I thought, we just couldn’t get any runs across.”

Vidalia struck first in the bottom of the first inning when Brixey singled in Seth Barlow. B.J. Neely singled in the next at-bat, scoring Seth Thompson and Brixey and giving the Vikings an early 3-0 lead.

Cathedral scored two runs in the top of the second, and came into the top of the third trailing 3-2. Dylan White scored on a sacrifice fly, and Barrett Young singled in another baserunner, giving Cathedral a 4-3 going into the bottom half of the inning.

In the sixth inning, Cathedral’s Tyler Ballard hit a solo home run.

Hoffpauir said he was very pleased with how the tournament turned out, and credited its many volunteers.

“I want to thank all the people that put the tournament on,” he said. “The cooks , the concession workers, and the gate people.”