GULFPORT -- Gulfport right-hander Alex Nelms retired the first 18 batters he faced, then escaped a seventh-inning jam in hurling the Admirals past George County 2-0 Tuesday night at Herbert Wilson Field.
Conner Dunlap broke up the no-hit bid to lead off the seventh and Bryson Solomon followed with a walk. But Nelms forced a groundout by Walker Robbins, then struck out Jathan Staton and Kyle Whittington to secure the victory.
Gulfport improved to 7-3 overall and 1-1 in 8-6A while George County fell to 6-4, 1-2.
"If I have my cutter, I consider myself to be on," said Nelms, who struck out five. "I pitched, let them hit and let my defense make the plays. It was a battle but we came out on top."
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Robbins (2-1) held the Admirals scoreless through the first five innings. But Dillon Brown led off the bottom of the sixth with a walk off the hard-throwing left-hander. Kevin Carter hit into a fielder's choice to second. Then Nelms rapped a hit into left field.
After Robbins struck out Travis McNett, Gage Clark loaded the bases with an infield single. Then Carter scooted home with the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. Blake Johnson followed with a RBI infield single to score courtesy runner Larazzo Shuggart for a 2-0 lead.
Nelms (3-1) tried to not think too much about his no-hit bid going into the seventh.
"The key is to not acknowledge it," the senior said. "I knew but I wasn't going to talk about it, wasn't going to think about it. I really was worried about those two runs."
With two runners in scoring position with one out in the seventh, Nelms changed gears and went to his breaking ball against Staton and Whittington.
"He was dominating the whole night and was getting some early pitch outs," Gulfport coach Jamie McMahon said. "They were swinging and they were aggressive. He is such a bulldog and such a competitor out there. Our players play hard behind him. He's our No. 1. He has four pitches he can throw for strikes and he can locate them when he wants to.
"He didn't throw his curveball a lot tonight. We decided to go something different (in the seventh) and he located it (the curveball) again. He made some really good pitches when they had runners on second and third."
Walker allowed four hits and two walks and struck out 10 batters.
Gulfport faces St. Martin in district action Thursday at MGM Park at 7 p.m. Gulfport faces Ocean Springs on Friday at MGM Park to complete a rain-halted showdown. The Admirals then play Oak Grove at MGM Park on Saturday at 1 p.m.