VHS falls in quarterfinals, capping off historic 2017 baseball season

Published 3:47 pm Monday, May 8, 2017

A historic baseball season came to an end for Varnado on Thursday, as the Wildcats suffered a 6-1 loss to Delhi Charter in the quarterfinal round of the Class 1A playoffs on the road.
The Wildcats trailed 4-0 after three innings and Delhi added two more runs before the seventh.
Varnado scored a run in the seventh inning. They had the bases loaded with one out at one point in the inning, but were unable to rally.
Varnado coach Clay Tageant said he was proud of the fight in his team.
“There was an opportunity there and there was fight there. We were fighting not to get no-hit and not to get shutout,” Tageant said. “That’s what baseball is, it’s the small battles. That one game won’t define our season.
“You hate to lose and you hate to lose on that stage, but this team accomplished a lot. They were the first team in Varnado history to host a playoff game and to win a playoff game. I’m stoked about this team and the season they had.”
Tageant also praised Delhi pitcher Zach Parks, who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Jaylan Jefferson broke up the no-hit bid.
“The guy we faced was dominant,” Tageant said. “It was the best velocity we’ve faced all year and the best breaking ball we’ve seen. You’ve just got to tip your cap to him.”
Varnado recorded two hits — one each by Jefferson and Xavier Moses. Ja’Kyle Newkirk drove in the run and Jefferson scored the run.
Varnado had seven seniors this season, including Jefferson, Newkirk, Moses, Errol Varnado, Travon Stokes, Kevin Boudreaux and Trace Lozier.
“They were the leaders,” Tageant said. “They changed everything. I told them what needed to be done. They wanted to be successful and they took it and ran with it. They didn’t complain.
“They wanted to win and they wanted to be successful. They are a great group of guys. They all have bright futures ahead of them.”
Sixth-seeded Varnado finished the 2017 season with a 17-8 record.
Third-seeded Delhi Charter, which improved to 20-12, advanced to the semifinals to play No. 7 seed Grand Lake. Grand Lake (19-11) was a 9-4 winner over No. 2 seed Oak Grove (17-13).