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Sloppy play by Vidalia leads to stunning comeback by Block

VIDALIA — Vidalia High School’s baseball team appeared to be well on their way to an easy victory Friday night against Block. The Vikings had a 9-0 lead after just two innings of play.

But the Bears battled and, with a lot of help from Vidalia’s defense, Block was able to storm back and win 17-10.

“All year we have been starting off slow,” Block head coach Stevie McCarthy said.

“We have lost three games by one run, and we needed to get over that hump before district play starts Monday, and they came through for me (tonight).”

Block did battle back and continued to put the ball in play, but Vidalia’s defense was the main reason Block was able to put up 17 runs.

Vidalia allowed 12 unearned runs on 10 errors.

“That is not the kind of effort I’m used to seeing from these guys,” Vidalia head coach Tim Herndon said.

“Block kept scraping and scraping and we just kind of laid there and let them beat us around. We couldn’t play the defensive part of the game. We gave the game away.”

The Vikings stormed out of the gate with four runs in the first inning and five in the second.

Vidalia’s four runs in the first inning came off two RBI singles, an RBI ground out and a sacrifice fly.

In the second the bats really came alive for Vidalia.

Nate Thomas drove in a run with a single, and Levi Brown followed that with an RBI double. Then Caleb Vines singled and Heath White walked to set things up for Devin Barnes who smashed a 3-run home run to right field to give the Vikings a nine run lead.

Vashawn Davis led off the top of the next inning for Block with a single. He then stole two bases and scored on an error, to make the score 9-1. But, the real damage came in the fourth and fifth innings for Block.

The Bears scored six runs in the fourth, five of them unearned.

The lone earned run came when Preston Bowman hit a 3-run homer to left and scored himself and two other Bears who had reached on errors.

Things did not get much better for Vidalia in the fifth inning.

Block scored seven runs, four unearned, to take a 14-9 lead. Bowman had the big hit again in the fifth with a double that scored two.

Vidalia pushed one across in the bottom of the fifth to make it 14-10. But, Block added three more in the sixth to put the game away.

Dylan Mayo got the win for Block after coming in the game in the second inning, already trailing 7-0. Mayo would only allow three runs, one of which was charged to starting pitcher Will Hawthorne.

“Dylan came in and shut them down and then Chase (Duncan) is my closer, my senior, and he came in and closed it for us,” McCarthy said.

Duncan pitched two-and-a-third innings and allowed no runs with four strikeouts.

Vidalia’s pitching was actually not as bad as the score would indicate.

Starter Corey Williams went four innings and gave up seven runs, but only one was earned, and struck out four.

“The pitching was actually a little better tonight, we didn’t walk a lot of guys,” Herndon said.

The win moves Block’s record to 5-7 on the year and they begin district play Monday at home versus La Salle.

Vidalia drops to 2-7 on the year and will look to regroup quickly before they play Franklin Parrish today in La Salle.

“We have to do a little soul-searching,” Herndon said.

We have to see if we can get some mental toughness that we are lacking.”

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