Youthful Vidalia falls at home to Franklin Parish, 11-0

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Vidalia High School baseball coach Mike Norris knows his team is young, but perhaps his LHSAA Class 3A squad showed its youth a little more than usual Tuesday night.

The Vikings couldn’t keep up with hard-hitting Franklin Parish, falling to the Class 4A Patriots, 11-0, in five innings.

Franklin Parish opened the first inning by scoring three runs, and took a commanding lead by the third, 8-0.

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Norris said despite the loss, he doesn’t always mind matching up against larger and more competitive schools.

“We like seeing good quality baseball,” he said. “The bigger schools tend to have No. 1-9 in order. We want our pitchers to concentrate for the whole order, so when we get to district the pressure isn’t there as much.”

Sophomore Tristan Weatherly took the loss for Vidalia, striking out four batters in 2.2 innings. And though he gave up the majority of Franklin Parish’s runs including seven earned runs, Norris hasn’t lost confidence in his starter.

“Tristan is human,” Norris said. “Lately, he has been shutting people down, but he didn’t have his best stuff tonight. Our guys have to be ready and help him out. Dom (Harveston) came in and did a good job.”

The Vikings also struggled on offense, registering just one hit on a single from Weatherly in the bottom of the second.

“We didn’t compete well at the plate, and we are still learning,” Norris said. “It’s not something that happens overnight.”

Franklin Parish’s Connor McMurray earned the win, pitching all five innings. He tallied five strikeouts and allowed no walks.

“McMurray was keeping us off balance. Sometimes you just have to tip your hat to the other guy,” Norris said. “We weren’t able to get it done tonight, but we have to keep our heads up and come ready to compete next time.”

Vidalia (6-5) will be back in action at 6 p.m. Thursday in its home tournament against Mangham.