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|Vidalia upsets Iowa|
Last year, Iowa High School snapped Vidalia High's 10-year streak of making it to the second round of the playoffs by defeating the Vikings 17-7.
Iowa made it all the way to the Class 3A semifinals before falling to St. Charles.
One year later, Vidalia would return to Iowa, again in the role of underdog and again facing a one-and-done situation.
But it was not to be on this Thursday night. The No. 24-seeded Vikings scored five runs in sixth inning to upset the No. 9 Yellow Jackets 8-7 and advance to the second round.
"These kids deserved to win this game," said Vidalia head coach Johnny Lee Hoffpauir. "I told them just being in the playoffs is gravy. Just try to relax because the hardest part is getting there and then finding out what the high school association is going to do to you. This group never gave up and the one consistent we have had is working hard. They weren't intimidated by the three-hour ride or what happened to us last year."
Vidalia took a one-run lead in the top of the first inning off an RBI double by John Brixey before Iowa plated two runs in their first at-bat.
Vidalia tied the game at 2-2 in the third on a solo home run by John Brixey, but Iowa went up 3-2 in the bottom of the inning.
Iowa scored three in the bottom of the fourth to go up 6-2.
The Vikings put up one run in the fourth inning, but left the bases loaded.
"That usually comes back to haunt you, especially in the playoffs," Hoffpauir said. "I told them, 'fellas, we've got to stop doing this."
The Vikings took that advice to heart in the fifth, scoring five runs.
Two walks by relief pitcher Tyler Chapman, who got the win over the Vikings last year, an error and a double by Jake DeWeese keyed the rally.
"I felt the momentum swing then," Hoffpauir said.
Mason Ozburn, who got the complete game win, struck out all three batters in the seventh.
"Mason pitched a heckuva game," Hoffpauir said.
Vidalia lost to E.D. White Tuesday.
"This has been a great bunch to coach," Hoffpauir said. "I really enjoyed them. It's been like family."
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