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Indians Defeat Royals

The Vidalia Indian baseball team opened up the 2023 season with a 3-1 victory over the Bleckley County Royals. The reigning 2A State Champions are rebuilding after losing seven starters from the 2022 championship team. The Indian bats were not strong, but they got some good pitching and good defense.

Walker Moncus started on the mound for the Indians going six strong innings to pick up the win. He allowed one unearned run, one hit, walked two and struck out seven. Conner Whited came on to pitch the 7th inning allowing one hit, two walks and striking out one to pick up the save. On offense the Indians picked up four hits, five walks and two hits by pitches. Cason Banks, Andrew Norfleet, Brayden Mc-Call and Carson Ricks each picked up singles. Norfleet and Kaleb Bennett had one RBI each.

The Royals picked up their lone run in the top of the 1st inning on a couple of walks and a couple of errors. Moncus got a strike out to end the inning, leaving two runners on base. The Indians picked up a walk in the bottom half but were unable to score leaving the Royals up 1-0 after one.

The second inning was scoreless as Moncus struck out the side in the top half, and the Indians were once again unable to cash in on a walk.

In the 3rd inning the Royals did pick up a single, their only hit off of Moncus but couldn't advance past first base. In the bottom half Ricks led off with a single, and Banks was hit by a pitch putting two runners on with no outs. The runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch, and things looked good for the Indians to cash in some runs. However, they were only able to score one run on an RBI ground out by Bennett. That left the score at 1-1 after three complete.

Neither team was able to muster any runs in the 4th and 5th innings. The Royals went 3 up and 3 down both innings. The Indians went 3 up and 3 down in the 4th inning and loaded the bases in the bottom of the 5th inning but couldn't score.

In the top of the 6th inning with the score tied, the Royals' first two batters reached on errors putting runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. Moncus induced a pop fly to the second baseman and then a soft liner to the second baseman to get the first two outs, and then Banks made a good running catch in right center to deny the Royals any runs leaving the score at 1-1 going to the bottom half. The first two Indian batters reached on walks, and then Norfleet laced a solid single to right center driving in McDonald from second and giving the Indians a 2-1 lead. With runners on 1st and 3rd, McCall picked up a bunt single loading the bases with no outs and the top of the Indian lineup coming up. However, the Indians were only able to pick up one insurance run on an error putting the Indians up 3-1 going to the final frame.

Whited came on in relief to pitch the top of the 7th inning. After getting the first batter out, the Knights drew two walks and a single to load the bases with only one out. Whited struck out the next batter, then got a fly ball to left to end the game, giving the Indians a 3-1 win to open the season.

The Indians play two games next week. On Tuesday, February 14, they play at West Laurens starting at 6:00 and then will be back at Greg James Field on Thursday, February 16, for a game against Swainsboro also starting at 6:00.

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