The home run that wasn't was one of several missed opportunities that hurt Georgia Southern and helped make a winner of top-seeded Stanford in the opening game of the College World Series.

Jeff Hammonds's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th tied it and Troy Paulsen's single won it, 5-4, yesterday in Omaha.

A long drive off the bat of Georgia Southern's Rob Fitzpatrick was ruled to have hit off the lower interior fence in left-center, and not off a higher exterior fence, negating a two-run homer.

"I followed the trajectory of the ball but then lost it in the white background of the outfield fence signs," third-base umpire Randy Christal said. "Without a good look at the finish, I based part of the call on the reaction of the center fielder."

Stanford's Stan Spencer struck out 12 in his nine innings, and the Eagles committed six errors. Stanford committed four errors.

Georgia 3, Mississippi St. 0: Dave Fleming allowed four hits in shutting out Mississippi State for the second time this season.

It was the first shutout in the College World Series since Florida State's Chris Pollack beat Arizona State by 3-0 in 1987.

Fleming (12-5) faced one batter over the minimum through seven innings, thanks to three double plays. An error in the eighth and a two-out infield single in the ninth provided Mississippi State's other base runners, but neither reached second.

Jeff Cooper gave Fleming a 1-0 lead in the third when he lined a Bobby Reed pitch over the 370-foot sign in left.