SEC Title For Tide

Jeffrey Norris, who threw one pitch and picked up a save Saturday night to get Alabama into the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament Championship Game, pitched a complete game to lead the Crimson Tide to the SEC Tournament title Sunday. Bama took a 6-2 win over South Carolina, the regular season SEC winner, at the Hoover Met in suburban Birmingham.

Norris, who improved his record to 5-1, allowed 10 hits, but didn't walk a batter. He struck out five.

Bama ran its record to 48-13 win the win. Monday the NCAA Selection Committee will announce pairings and Regional sites and Alabama is expected to host a regional. The Tide was ranked between seventh and 12th in last week's national polls and should have gained a number one seed with its SEC Tournament performance. (Regional tickets may be ordered by calling the Alabama Athletics Ticket Office at 1-205-348-BAMA. The ticket office will be open Monday.)

Norris was one of three Alabama players selected to the all-tournament team. He was joined by first baseman Brent Boyd, who was named Most Valuable Player in the tournament, and second baseman Peter Stonard. Boyd batted .500 for the tournament. He was on that pace Sunday with a two-for-four performance with a run batted in. ,

Chad White was two-for-three with a run batted in and Allen Rice was two-for-three with a run scored.

Coach Jim Wells said, "Norris pitched great! Seventy per cent of his pitches were strikes and he had control of both his curve ball and fast ball."

Both teams had 10 hits and both squads played errorless ball and turned in two double plays. Alabama scored three runs in the first inning and added two more in the second to take a 5-0 lead. Norris said, "It always helps to have a cushion. It helps you to settle down and just pitch." He added that the pro-Alabama crowd was a help. The final game was played before a crowd of 13,367 and total attendance for the tournament was a record 124,440. Although the Hoover Met is a neutral site, the final game crowd was the third best in SEC Tournament history – and the top two crowds have also been games in which Bama was a participant.

Wells paid tribute to the four Alabama seniors who have been four-year performers for the Crimson Tide. They are first baseman Brent Boyd, catcher Jeremy Brown, center fielder Scott McClanahan, and pitcher Lance Cormier. (Pitcher Shane Sanders is also a senior, but joined Bama out of junior college.)

Since the resumption of the SEC Tournament, Alabama under Wells – who was selected SEC Coach of the Year -- has won four of the seven championships.


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