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|Vidalia falls to Iowa|
For the first time in 10 years, Vidalia High will not be playing a second-round playoff game.
The Vikings, seeded No. 17 in the Class 3A playoffs, fell to No. 16 Iowa 17-7 in Iowa Friday.
The last time Vidalia lost a first-round playoff game was in 1998 when the Vikings lost a controversial first-round contest to St. Frederick, when Dusty Lemoine made a catch against the outfield fence in the seventh inning, but umpires ruled he did not catch the ball and the runner eventually scored in an 8-6 St. Fred win.
That was two years after Vidalia won its first-ever state championship.
Vidalia started off with a bang, scoring four runs in its first at-bat, having a runner thrown out at the plate or it would have been at least five runs.
Iowa scored nine runs in the second inning. The Yellowjackets had six batters reach by being hit by a pitch and six walk, with eight of those eventually scoring.
"We also made five errors, so our youth and inexperience showed at crunch time," said Vidalia coach Johnny Lee Hoffpauir. "The umpire had a very tight strike zone and that affected our pitching some. We just fell apart."
But the biggest affect may have been the fact the Vikings had to travel as the No. 17 seed despite entering the playoffs with a 17-6 mark and sharing the District 3-3A title.
"It was just a bad week from the selection to the way we played," Hoffpauir said. "I don't know if we were a top 16 team or not, but that's not the point. We won our district and should have been awarded a home game."
Beau Doughty and Seth Thompson had two singles each. Trey Brasher homered and Hunter Martin had a double.
Iowa defeated No. 1 seed Lutcher, 5-0 on Tuesday and advanced to a quarterfinal contest against E.D. White.
Hoffpauir loses four seniors off of this year's squad.
"I'm very proud of what this team did this year," Hoffpauir said. "This team showed more improvement from the start to the finish than any other team I've had. We went into the season with several question marks and had to overcome a lot of things. I lot my mother, we had rainouts, snow and a lot of other unforeseeable things, but this team worked through it. There were a lot of positives that came out of this season. I'll never forget this team and the parents not for just what we did on the field, but other things off the field that made it bearable."
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