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Timely homer boosts Alabama in opener
By BRANDON WRIGHT
Published August 7, 2005
ST. PETERSBURG - Dylan Nevels' two-run homer in the fourth inning proved to be the difference as Alabama (Phenix City) defeated Virginia (West Springfield) 6-4 in the teams' opening game of the Southeastern Regional at Arnold S. White Stadium. Leading 4-2, Phenix City's Will Hammock opened the fourth inning with a walk. After a pair of strikeouts, Nevels stepped to the plate against Virginia reliever Dylan O'Connor.
"Coach Jeff Miller has been saying that we need more two-out hits and that just kept running through my mind," Nevels said. "I knew I had to get that runner home any way I could."
Nevels got a letter-high fastball on the inside half of the plate and deposited it over the centerfield fence for his third postseason homer and a 6-2 Alabama lead.
"That's my favorite pitch," Nevels said.
Meanwhile, Nick Hussey fought through the blazing heat to pick up the complete-game victory. Hussey scattered nine hits and struck out four.
NORTH CAROLINA 14, SOUTH CAROLINA 9: North Carolina (Southwest Forsyth) breezed to a 14-9 win against South Carolina (Northwood) in their opening game. "The kids were very relaxed coming into the game," manager Chuck DeLuca said. "We hit the ball well today and especially did a good job with two strikes."
Southwest Forsyth scored five runs in the fourth and six more in the fifth to build a 14-2 lead.
GEORGIA 17, TENNESSEE 0: Georgia (Buckhead) endured a two and a half hour lightning delay and blanked Tennessee (Columbia) 17-0.
Georgia's Clayton Lau tossed a no-hitter, striking out six. Lau retired the first 10 batters before issuing a walk and didn't allow a ball out of the infield all game.
Georgia, which led 7-0 after five innings, sent 14 batters to the plate in the sixth and scored 10 runs. Buckhead blasted four homers, including two from John Egan and one each by Keller Carlock and Lau.