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MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2005
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School record 5 double plays assist Tide in Kentucky sweep

From Staff Reports

TUSCALOOSA — The University of Alabama baseball team opened its 2005 Southeastern Conference schedule with a sweep of the Kentucky Wildcats, picking up a 10-4 victory and tying a school record by turning five double plays Sunday.

Alabama (18-5, 3-0 SEC) had built a 3-0 lead after two innings, only to see the Cats tie the game.

Junior 1B Evan Bush slammed a two-run home run in the first inning to give Alabama a quick 2-0 lead. Cale Iorg reached on a fielder's choice with the bases loaded in the second inning to score Lyons to push the lead to 3-0.

Kentucky (12-7, 0-3 SEC) tied the game with a three-run third inning, taking advantage of a dropped fly ball by Emeel Salem in center field and a misplayed bunt when second baseman Greg Paiml did not cover first base.

JP Lowen singled to open the inning and scored on Antone DeJesus' triple to right-center field. DeJesus scored when Salem dropped a fly ball to center by Michael Bertram. Billy Grace was hit by the pitch with the bases loaded to force home Ryan Wilkes with the tying run.

Belcher (3-0) came on in the third inning with the bases loaded and no outs and pitched five innings for the win. He allowed one run and three hits, with one walk and four strikeouts. Alabama added five runs in the sixth to take a 9-3 lead.

The sweep would give the Tide (18-5) its first 3-0 start in conference play since 2003.

The Tide's 16-game home stand concludes Wednesday when Alabama takes on Jacksonville State at "The Joe."

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