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Back-to-back homers in first inning boost Bama over UT

Staff and wire report • Mar 17, 2007 at 1:09 AM

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Jake Smith and Alex Avilla hit back-to-back home runs before an out was recorded in the bottom of the first inning to help lead Alabama to a 9-7 win over Tennessee on Friday night.

The Crimson Tide (14-7, 1-0) totaled 17 hits in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams tonight.

Alabama took a 5-1 lead in the second inning on an RBI single by Smith. The Tide added another run in each of the next three innings while allowing the Volunteers (12-8, 0-1) only one run.

Starting pitcher Miers Quigley picked up the win for the Tide. Quigley went six innings, allowing nine hits and five runs while matching his career high with nine strikeouts.

Tennessee scored a run in the second and sixth innings, and struck for three more in the seventh and two in the eighth.

The Alabama bullpen allowed seven of its nine inherited runners to score, and at least one Vol baserunner reached base in every inning.

The weekend series continues today at 4 p.m.

JOHNSON CITY - The Bucs will have to wait one more day to open Atlantic Sun Conference play after weather concerns in Boiling Springs, N.C., forced the postponement of their scheduled weekend series with Gardner- Webb.

The teams were scheduled to open the series with a single game Friday at 3 p.m., with the series concluding today with a doubleheader starting at noon. Friday's game was postponed, extending to series to Sunday. First pitch that day is scheduled for 1 p.m.

This will be the first conference series of 2007 for both teams. The Bucs (12-7) were picked for a fifth-place finish by the league's coaches in the preseason.

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