March 1, 2005
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Senior shortstop Tommy Manzella went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles an RBI, and broke open a close game with a two-out, bunt single in the seventh as the top-ranked Tulane University baseball team defeated cross-town foe UNO, 15-9, Tuesday evening at Turchin Stadium.
Every starter in the Tulane lineup posted at least one hit, including three-run homers off the bats of senior catcher Greg Dini and junior first baseman Micah Owings to provide the Green Wave with a season-high run total. With the win, Tulane improves to 10-1 on the year while the Privateers fall to 3-7.
Tulane led 5-0 after two innings, but the Privateers used a five-run fourth to make it a brand new ballgame. The Green Wave answered with a five-run fifth, but once again, UNO would make it a close contest with taking advantage of an error in the sixth to plate four unearned runs and make it a 10-9 affair.
One inning later, though, Tulane sandwiched a pair of hit batsmen around a walk to load the bases before Manzella stepped to the plate with two away. With the infield playing back, Manzella dropped a bunt down the third base line that UNO closer Grant Birely was able to glove. His throw to first, however, was late and up the right-field line, and the miscue opened the floodgates for a five-run, game deciding inning.
Junior right-hander Billy Mohl (1-0) earned the win out of the bullpen for the Green Wave, striking out three and scattering three hits without allowing an earned run (four unearned) in 2.1 innings. Tulane also solid efforts from sophomore Daniel Latham, redshirt-junior Ricky Fairchild and rookie closer Sean Morgan, who combined for four strikeouts and just two hits over the final 3.0 frames.
After scoring a single run in the second, Tulane appeared to be in cruise control. The Privateers had other ideas, however, and used a run-scoring double by first baseman Mike Costanino, a three-run homer by catcher Alex Webster and an RBI-knock off the bat of left fielder Josh Jones to tie things up at 5-all.
Following a scoreless fourth, Owings put Tulane back on top with a three-run shot of his own, and junior centerfielder Nathan Southard tacked on an extra run with a run-scoring single to center to put the Green Wave back on top 10-5.
UNO refused to go away, however, as centerfielder Brandon Bowser reached on a one-out error and third baseman Jeff Meyer was plunked to set up an RBI-double by Murray to cut the lead to 10-6. One out later, infielder Patrick Rowe ripped a two-run single through the right side of the infield and designated hitter Paul Smythe followed with an RBI-double to make it a one-run ballgame.
Mohl was able to get out of the frame by freezing Privateer right fielder Tony Gonzalez on a called third strike, and Manzella provide the back-breaking play an inning later. Following the bunt by Manzella, Barket dropped a single into left central, stole second, and scored on a single through the left side of the infield by Madden to account for the final score.
Tulane returns to action on Friday, March 4, when the Green Wave opens a three-game weekend series vs. Marist at 6:30 p.m. at Turchin Stadium.