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South levels Lovett
Six-run first propels Eagles
South Forsyth pitcher Chris Rowley delivers a pitch against Lovett on Tuesday at the War Eagles’ field. Rowley gave up four runs and had six strikeouts in four innings of work. - photo by Jared Putnam
One trip through the batting order gave South Forsyth enough ammunition for a successful season opener.

Punctuated by a two-run home run off the bat of University of Auburn-bound shortstop Jordan Neese, the No. 6-ranked War Eagles (Class AAAAA) hung six runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning and soared to a 13-4 victory over No. 2-ranked Lovett (Class AA) on Tuesday at the South campus.

Juniors Patrick Olvaney (2-for-3, home run, triple, 3 RBI) and Zach Alvord (1-for-4, home run) joined Neese (2-for-2, home run, 2 RBI) in the long ball parade, while Curtis Parker and sophomore Caden Bailey contributed two hits apiece.

“I thought our hitters had a great approach at the plate all night and worked themselves into positive counts and really took advantage of some missed spots by [Lovett’s] pitchers,” War Eagles coach Jamie Corr said.

“I’m very encouraged by the big nights of Caden Bailey and Patrick Olvaney.”

Andrew Barna got things started for the War Eagles with a one-out double in the first. Zach Alvord then reached on the first of three errors by the Lions, setting up back-to-back RBI singles from Parker and Chase Fowler.

Parker scored on a wild pitch and pinch runner Matt Corbin came home on a ground ball off the bat of Bailey that Lovett pitcher Jonathan Corkhuff was unable to field. Neese followed with his two-run blast and South led 6-0.

Lovett got a pair of runs back in the top of the second on a two-run single by Gerry O’Meara, and later cut the lead to 8-4 when David Van Horn took South starter Chris Rowley (4 innings, 4 runs, 6 strikeouts) deep in the top of the fourth.

The Lions brought the tying run to the plate twice in the fifth inning after loading the bases against reliever Kevin Bibler, but the senior hurler struck out Michael Steele and Davis Millians to get out of the jam.

Jack Stout and Alvord also recorded one scoreless inning of relief apiece.

“I’m very excited at the ability of all our pitchers to throw strikes tonight,” Corr said. “I think they all did a great job of attacking the hitters.”

The War Eagles boosted the lead to 12-4 in the bottom half of the fifth, scoring the first of four runs off a two-run triple by Olvaney.

South is home again on Friday to face Woodland. Opening pitch is set for 5:55 p.m.