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Story Archives: Vidalia pair lead All-Parish Baseball
|Vidalia pair lead All-Parish Baseball|
Never mind a sophomore jinx. Vidalia High pitcher Mason Ozburn had to be wondering if there was such a thing as a junior jinx.
Last season, led the Vikings with 35 hits and 12 doubles, hitting .455 with a .727 slugging percentage. He was also 8-3 on the mound for the Vikings, striking out 57 and walking 22.
This year, Ozburn picked up where he left off before hitting a midseason slump that had a lot to do with Vidalia's 4-7 early mark 3-3 district record.
A bout with the flu didn't help.
"I felt good, but I just could never find my control," Ozburn said. "I was throwing the ball hard, but I was hitting and walking people. It was frustrating not playing as well as everybody knew I could play. Then the last part of the district it started falling into place. I kept working hard. I was able to pitch more innings and I was keeping hitters off balance."
Vidalia won its final four district games to finish second and then upset Iowa, 8-7, in the first round of the playoffs before falling to E.D. White.
Ozburn, who got the complete game win against Iowa, struck out all three batters in the seventh.
"That was crazy," Ozburn said. "But I had a lot of confidene and I knew my team was backing me up."
Ozburn finished 8-6 on the mound for the Vikings and had a 3.91 earned run average. He had 92 strikeouts over 58 innings. Ozsburn also hit .311 on the season and had four home runs to earn the 2009 Player of the Year Award, one year after winning the 2008 Player of the Year Award.
"As a player, you want every year to be better than the next year," Ozburn said. "I'm looking forward to having a much better year next season."
Parish Coach of the Year for 2009, Johnny Lee Hoffpauir, said this year's team had one of the biggest turnarounds he's ever had since he been at Vidalia.
"Every year you look for improvement during the season, but this was two totally different teams," said Hoffpauir, who began coaching at Vidalia in 1979. "This was an exciting team to watch because you never knew what was going to happen until the end. It was also pretty gut-wrenching. But in the end it was a satisfying season."
Hoffpauir said the upset win over Iowa was very gratifying.
"And I give all the credit to the kids," he said. "One thing that was consistent is that they worked hard all year long. Good things are going to happen when you work hard. Jake DeWeese had arm problems early and Mason struggled, so we knew it was going to be tough until we got past the tournaments. I was hoping by the time we got to district it would level out and that's what happened. Our pitcher really came around at the end."
Joining Ozburn on the mound are Ferriday junior Dee Garrison and Huntington senior Jordan Wilson.
Wilson was 3-1 on the mound in district, while batting .284 on the season.
Garrison was 3-1 on the mound with a .298 batting average.
Huntington senior Joey Roberts is the catcher.
Roberts hit .286 on the season.
The infield consists of Vidalia senior Jake DeWeese, Monterey junior Ross Lipsey, Huntington senior Jordan Jones, Ferriday junior Nieco Amado and Monterey senior Austin Lipsey.
Ross Lipsey led the Wolves with a .396 batting average and had a home run. He also led Monterey with 14 RBIs.
Jones led the Hounds with a .340 batting average.
Austin Lipsey batted .259 and had an .889 fielding percentage.
Amado led Ferriday with a .336 batting average.
DeWeese hit .360 and also had four home runs.
Thompson led the Vikings with a .366 average and had two home runs.
The designated hitter is Vidalia junior John Brixey, who batted .289 and had three homers, including two in the postseason.
The outfield consists of Monterey senior Taylor Campbell, Ferriday senior Richard Jefferson
Campbell hit .286 and had a home run.
Jefferson hit .303.
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