Vidalia defeats Harrisonburg on Vikings’ Senior Night despite eight errors

Published 1:57 pm Monday, April 17, 2023

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VIDALIA — It was appropriate that on Vidalia High School’s Senior Night last Saturday afternoon that a senior would step up and overcome a lot of adversity to lead the Vikings to a much-needed victory with the 2023 season winding down.

Jake Spears came on in relief of starting pitcher Gage Cupstid and gave up three runs, none of them earned, on just one hit with four strikeouts and two walks to offset a multitude of errors to lead the Vidalia Vikings to a 10-7 win over the Harrisonburg High School Bulldogs at the Concordia Recreation District 3 Complex.

Vidalia won the game despite being out-hit by Harrisonburg five to four and committing eight errors. Vikings head coach Seth Thompson said the majority of those errors occurred when Spears was on the mound.

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“He maintained his composure. Which is tough to do when his defense is letting him down,” Thompson said. “That’s his senior leadership”

Vidalia scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning, but Harrisonburg responded with one run in the top of the second inning to cut the Vikings’ lead in half. However, the Vikings answered with two runs in the bottom of the second to take a 4-1 lead.

Despite playing in a much lower classification than Vidalia, Harrisonburg showed no quit as the Bulldogs used a three-run rally in the top of the third inning to tie the game up at 4-4. Yet the Vikings took the lead once again after plating one run in the bottom of the third.

As for how Vidalia was able to win the game despite just four base hits and the ridiculously high amount of errors it committed, Thompson said, “Just resiliency. We had a lot of walks. We got on base a lot, but we didn’t hit a lot. Being resilient and being patient at the plate. Letting their pitchers make mistakes.”

The Vikings were led at the plate by T.J. Williams and Luke Williamson, each of whom had a double. All five of the Bulldogs’ base hits went for singles and they had no multiple hitters.

Harrisonburg pitching, led by losing pitcher Pentecost (no first name given) walked nine batters and hit nine batters. Pentecost lasted just two innings and gave up one earned run on no hits but also two walks and four hit batters to go with four strikeouts

Cupstid got the start for Vidalia and allowed four runs, none of them earned, on four hits with five strikeouts and one walk over three innings.

The scored remained at 5-4 in Vidalia’s favor until the bottom of the sixth inning, when the Vikings struck four five runs to take what should have been a commanding 10-4 advantage. With Spears trying to close the game out in the top of the seventh, the defense almost let him down as the Bulldogs scored three runs to make it a 10-7 game.

However, winning pitcher Spears was able to escape with no further damage allowed and the Vikings escaped with the victory. Thompson said he was not too thrilled with as many errors as they ended up with.

“Nobody would be. But they fought through them,” Thompson said.

Vidalia (7-9) traveled to Moreauville, La., to take on Avoyelles High School in the Vikings’ regular-season finale with the junior varsity game at 4 p.m., followed by the varsity game at 6 p.m.