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|Vidalia Classic has local flair|
Adams County Christian School and Trinity Episcopal School are making their debuts at the Vidalia Baseball Classic March 6-8, while Oak Hill and Hamilton Christian of Lake Charles are making their first appearances in Vidalia.
"We've got a good mix of local teams and new teams coming in," said Vidalia coach Johnny Lee Hoffpauir. "There should be a good buzz around the ballpark because this is the only time we get to see some of these kids besides the summer under completely different conditions. I am really looking forward to it. We always welcome our friends from Natchez."
Oak Hill is where former LSU standout J.C. Holt played, while Hamilton Christian was 23-3 last year with eight returning starters.
Admission to the tournament is $5 daily for adults and $3 for students.
Trinity will be involved in the first game of the tournament as the Saints meet Pineville Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
ACCS follows with a 6:30 p.m. contest against Cathedral.
On Friday, Oak Hill faces Jena at 4:30 p.m. Vidalia begins play in the tournament Friday at 6:30 p.m. against Hamilton Christian.
On Saturday, the loser of the Trinity-Pineville game faces the ACCS-Cathedral loser at 9 a.m.
At 11 a.m., the Oak Hill-Jena loser meets the loser of the Vidalia-Hamilton contest.
The winners of the Trinity-Pineville and ACCS-Cathedral game meet Saturday at 1 p.m., followed by the winner of the Oak Hill-Jena and Vidalia-Hamilton Christian contests.
Two loser's bracket games will be followed by the championship game at 9 p.m.
Vidalia's baseball team played three games in the Pineville Tournament last week,
Vidalia fell to Pineville 8-5 after leading 5-2 going into the final inning.
"We faced their No. 1 guy who signed with Galveston Junior College," Hoffpauir said. "He threw in the high 80s and low 909s. I still thought we swung the bat pretty good against him."
The Vikings then trailed Natchitoches Central 10-2 after two innings on Friday night, but came back to defeat the Chiefs 15-10.
"It was ugly, but our kids battled back after giving up 10 runs in the second inning," Hoffpauir said. "They could have folded, but they kept playing hard like they have all year."
The Vidalia-Northwood game was cancelled on Saturday.
"If we don't learn to hold down the mental mistakes than it is going to be a long year," Hoffpauir said. "What is frustrating is that we are not learning from our mistakes. I know we are young and we have to have patience, but I still expect the kids to learn from their mistakes and being able to do what they are told. We're battling some injuries and lack of depth, but until we start playing like we know the game of baseball, we are not going to win. We've got a tough district ahead of us."
The Vikings are short on their pitching as Trey Brasher is out with a shoulder injury and others are pitching with sore arms.
"Beau Doughty has really stepped up for us and thrown strikes," Hoffpauir said.
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