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Indians Fall To Cook Co.

Indians Fall To Cook Co.
Morgan Moye fires over to first base during the Indians State Playoff series against Cook County.Photo by Pop-Pop’s Photos
Indians Fall To Cook Co.
Morgan Moye fires over to first base during the Indians State Playoff series against Cook County.Photo by Pop-Pop’s Photos

The Vidalia High School Indians baseball team took on Cook County in the second round of the GHSA State Playoffs. The Indians took the first game of the best-of-three series, but lost the next two games as their season came to an end.

Game 1

The Vidalia Indian baseball team went to Cook County on Saturday to play the Hornets in Round 2 of the state playoffs. The two teams were able to complete Game 1 of the series and get started on Game 2 but bad weather pushed the series to Monday. Game 2 will be picked up in the 3rd inning at 4:00 Monday afternoon with the if necessary Game 3 played immediately afterwards if needed.

Vidalia won Game 1 by a score of 4-0 as Dawson Stewart pitched the complete game shutout. Stewart only got one strikeout but did not allow any walks and gave up only two hits. Only one Hornet base runner reached second base. The Indian defense backed him well making only one error on a pop fly lost in the sun. The Indian offense wasn't powerful but did just enough to score the runs needed for the win. The Indians totaled five hits with Conner Whited leading the way with two hits, scoring a run and getting an RBI.

The Indians scored what turned out to be the only run they would need in the top of the 2nd inning. Carson Ricks drew a walk to lead off the inning and moved to second on a wild pitch. After one out Whited got a single down the right field line to drive home Ricks, giving the Indians the 1-0 lead.

The Indians plated two more runners in the top of the 5th inning. Whited led off the inning with his second hit to right field. Veer Patel drew a walk putting two on with no outs. Morgan Moye laid down a sacrifice bunt and the third baseman made a bad throw to first allowing Whited to score and leaving runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. Patel scored on a wild pitch but that was all the Indians could get. After Stewart set the Hornets down 1-2-3 in the bottom half, the Indians were up 3-0 after five complete.

The Indians got an insurance run in the top of the 7th inning. Moye got a lead off single with Banks moving him to third with a one out double. Moye was tagged out at the plate on a ground ball with Banks moving to third. Kaleb Bennett got a two out single to score Banks, putting the Indians on top 4-0 going to the bottom half. Stewart closed out easily as he got the Hornets 1-2-3 to secure the complete game victory.

Game 2

After taking Game 1 the Vidalia Indians needed only to win one of the next two games to advance to the Elite 8 round. Vidalia was the home team in Game 2 of the series. The game started on Saturday, April 29 was suspended in the bottom of the 4th inning and resumed on Monday, May 1. Defensive problems hurt the Indians throughout the game and a late inning rally fell just short as the Hornets first baseman made a diving catch of a Norfleet line drive to prevent the tying run from scoring allowing the Hornets to hold onto a 9-8 win tying the series at one game each.

Veer Patel got the start on the mound Saturday for the Indians going four innings allowing six runs on seven hits and one hit batter. Tucker McDonald took over the pitching duties in the top of the 5th inning on Monday. He gave up three runs on three hits and take the loss. Andrew Norfleet came on in relief to start the 6th inning and also pitching the 7th giving up no runs on one hit and walking one. The Indians made six errors in the game.

The offense was led by Cason Banks 2-3 with two runs scored and two RBI's; Walker Moncus 2-3 with one run scored and three RBI's including a 2 run homer; Patel 2-3 with one run scored and one RBI.

The Hornets started the scoring in the top of the 1st inning as the first three batters reached on errors. That was followed by a single, a hit batter and another single to score three runs. With the bases still loaded and no outs it looked like a huge inning for the Hornets. However, Patel was able to get three outs without another run scoring and leaving the score 3-0. In the bottom half the Indians quickly answered. Banks led off with a single and Moncus followed with a two run bomb to left closing the gap to 3-2. Kaleb Bennett then singled, Carson Ricks got a pop fly single just out of the second baseman's reach which only allowed Bennett to get to second. Lawson Lowe laid down a bunt to move the runners but he beat the throw at first loading the bases with no outs. Now it looked like the Indians were ready to pile up some runs of their own but a ground ball to the pitcher resulted in a 1-2-3 double play followed by a fly out to left leaving the score at 3-2 Hornets after one complete.

The Hornets struck again in the top of the 3rd inning as they used four hits and an error to score three more times. After the Indians went 1-2-3 in the bottom half the Hornets now on top 6-2 after three complete.

In the top of the 4th inning the Hornets got a one out double but couldn't score. In the bottom half Conner Whited got a lead off triple and Patel got an RBI single. Patel moved to second on a wild pitch and the weather moved in suspending play until Monday, May 1.

The game picked up in the bottom of the 4th inning with a runner on second and no outs. The Indians were not able to get the run scored and were down 6-3 after four complete.

In the top of the 5th inning the Hornets used an error and three hits to score three more times going up 9-3. In the bottom half Moncus got a lead off walk but the Indians couldn't score, leaving the Hornets ahead 9-3 after five complete.

The game moved to the bottom of the 6th inning. Whited drew a lead off walk but a strike out and fly ball out appeared to kill any chance for the Indians to cut into the lead. However, Norfleet reached on and error by the shortstop, putting runners on the corners. Banks followd with a triple scoring both runners and Moncus followed with an RBI single plating Banks. After a ground ball out ended the inning the Indians had closed the gap making it a 9-6 Hornets lead after six complete.

In the top of the 7th inning the Hornets got an error, walk and hit batter to load the bases but didn't score, sending the game to the bottom of the inning and last chance for the Indians. After one out Lowe reached on an error but got forced out, leaving one on and two outs making it look dim for the Indians. Patel then singled to right center and the outfielder let the ball get by him scoring Whited with Patel going to second. Patel moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Moye single making it a 9-8 ball game. Moye moved to second as the tying run on a wild pitch. Norfleet hit a line drive that seemed destined to right field to knock in the tying run but the Hornets first baseman made a diving catch to end the game with the Hornets winning by the 9-8 score to even the series at one win each and requiring a third game.

Game 3

The Hornets reverted back to the home team for the deciding Game 3 to determine who would advance to the Elite 8. It was a good old fashion pitchers duel for the first five innings as neither team could get a hit and both teams were playing good defense. The Indians really struggled at the plate with 10 strikeouts. Kaleb Bennett was the only Indian to get a hit and that didn't occur until two were out in the top of the 7th inning. His hit broke up a perfect game by the Hornets pitcher.

Walker Moncus pitched for the Indians and tossed no hit ball for five innings matching the Hornets pitcher inning for inning. However, the Hornets got a one out single in the bottom of the 6th inning to break up the Moncus no hit bid and that was followed by a double which scored the first run of the game and end the shutout. The Hornets got three more singles, an intentional walk and an error to score four more runs, giving them a 5-0 lead going to the 7th inning. The first two Indian batters went quickly leaving only one out to get a perfect game. Bennett battled to a 3-2 count fouling off several pitches before getting a solid single to end the perfect game. The next batter went easily, giving the Hornets the 5-0 win and clinching their spot in the Elite 8.

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