Vidalia receives all-around effort in win over Natchez, 8-4

Published 12:16 am Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Vidalia High School pulled out a variety of resources Monday night to piece together a comeback victory over Natchez, 8-4.

The Vikings (13-9) snapped a four-game losing streak, overcoming a three-run deficit in the fourth inning with the help of three pitchers and hits from six different players.

“It’s not easy to get out of a funk like that,” Vidalia coach Mike Norris said. “It always feels good to beat the local teams.”

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Vidalia was led on the mound by Cam Rodgers, and was followed by J.R. Davis and closer Tristan Weatherly.

Davis struck out three batters between the fourth and fifth innings, giving up just one hit to earn the win and keep the Vikings on track.

He didn’t stop there, either, batting in three runners to aid the fight.

“They gave me a job, and I just stepped in,” Davis said.

After Vidalia scored first in the second inning, Natchez (9-14) came back to score four runs in the next two frames. The effort was led by a sacrifice RBI from Jakel Barnes, then by a stolen home plate from Jamel Myles and an RBI-double from JaMichael Mackey.

“We had the lead and we couldn’t close the door,” Bulldog coach Dan Smith said. “They are a good team and we knew they were going to fight back.”

Smith said though his team didn’t win, he was pleased with the all-around attitude and thinks it will help significantly during postseason play.

“I like that we fought because in the playoffs there aren’t going to be any close games,” he said. “I can see that we are getting better by the day.”

After regaining the lead, Tanner Jenkins boosted Vidalia in the sixth inning with two additional runs on a clean hit to right field. Also ending with a hit for Vidalia were Tony Tolliver, Christian Fort and Leo Lozano.

“We put some runs on the board and got some confidence, but (Natchez) battled,” Norris said. “The future is bright for them.”

While Norris said he noticed a handful of areas that need improvement, he is hoping to limit allowing free baserunners.

Vidalia allowed seven walks on the night.

“Anytime you walk someone, they almost always come around to score,” he said. “We have four games left in district (play,) and we need to win them.”

Natchez will be back on the road Wednesday at Wingfield, and Vidalia will remain at home to face Bolton today.