Terry Nelson doesn't often get home to visit his family. Nelson works in Maryland, a job that keeps him from visiting home more than every couple of months or so.
But the father of Evans High senior Tevin Nelson was in attendance Monday at Lake Olmstead Stadium. His son, stuck in a mini-slump before Monday, drove in five runs from the bottom of the lineup to help the Evans baseball team beat Harlem 10-3.
"It's nice to see him at a game (when) I actually do good," said Tevin, who added that playing in the minor league stadium had been a dream of his growing up.
Nelson, a center fielder, had been a fixture in the leadoff spot. Evans coach Ricky Beale shifted Nelson to the No. 9 spot for a Feb. 20 victory over Grovetown.
Beale said the move was designed to take some pressure off Nelson.
"And he responded," Beale said. "He came through huge."
Nelson finished with three hits Monday. His sharp, bases-loaded single in the sixth scored two and gave Evans the lead for good. He drove in two more with a seventh-inning single.
Bulldogs coach Jimmie Lewis said leading up to the game he hoped his small-ball approach would work in a big park. Before the Knights' outburst, Harlem had taken a one-run lead on a fifth-inning squeeze bunt. Harlem starter Derek Beasley, stellar through five innings, left after the Bulldogs' troubled sixth.
"I felt really good throwing through the fifth," Beasley said. "I don't know, maybe I should have come out for the sixth. But I wanted to finish the game."
The county rivals met at the home of the Augusta GreenJackets through a deal the minor league program proposed to area high schools. Evans and Harlem combined to sell close to 300 tickets.
Grovetown 10, Hephzibah 2
Grovetown coach Mike Jones said his team might have been awestruck by opening Monday's doubleheader in a minor league park. He didn't like the way the young Warriors started.
There was plenty for Jones to praise after his team battled back behind a big fifth inning to beat Hephzibah 10-2.
The first-year Warriors improved to 4-6 overall and 4-3 in Region 3-AAAA. They start freshmen and sophomores at several key positions. Jones said the goal remains becoming one of the region's four teams in the state playoffs.
"We're still trying to scratch and claw and see if we can get one of them four spots," Jones said. "It's still kind of early on. Anything can happen."
Grovetown scored eight runs during the fifth inning to blow the game open. Pitcher Hunter McBride weathered a tough start to shut down the Rebels during the final four innings. He struck out seven and allowed only one base runner after Hephzibah scored twice during the third.
"It's been a struggle all year," McBride said. "It wasn't really anything new. We just had to trust each other and know we could depend on each other."
McBride also doubled and scored twice.
Harlem 10, Grovetown 2
Evans 10, Westside 0
Lakeside 15, Richmond Acad. 5
Lakeside 10, Hephzibah 0
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