April 3, 2005
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Junior designated hitter Micah Owings went 4-for-5 with two doubles, a home run and three RBI, and junior southpaw Brian Bogusevic struck out eight in a six-inning start as the No. 3 Tulane University baseball team completed the weekend sweep of Conference USA foe UAB with a 13-5 decision Sunday afternoon at Turchin Stadium.
Tulane held a 5-2 advantage after three innings, and after a pair of scoreless frames, blew the game open with an eight-run sixth to take a commanding 13-2 advantage. The Green Wave could have halted the game in the seventh due to the C-USA 10-run rule on get-away day, but the Blazers took advantage of some unusually erratic relief as Tulane issued five base-on-balls in the inning - including a trio of bases loaded walks - to plate three runs, but that would be all the home team would allow.
With the win, Tulane ran its winning streak to five games while improving to 25-5 on the year and 7-2 in C-USA action. UAB, meanwhile, fell to 18-10 overall and 4-5 in league play.
The Green Wave offense pounded out 14 hits, and that was more than enough for Bogusevic as the big lefty scattered four hits and gave up just a pair of runs in the second during his time on the mound. Freshman closer struggled with his control a bit in the seventh, giving up four of the walks in the frame, but junior right-hander Ricky Fairchild came on to induce an inning-ending double-play ball, and tossed a scoreless eighth before giving way to fellow junior righty Billy Mohl, who gave up just one walk in the ninth.
Owings tied his career-high with four hits on the day, and rookie third baseman Brad Emaus went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI to help the Tulane cause. Joining the duo in the multiple-hit club were senior shortstop Tommy Manzella and senior right fielder Matt Barket, who posted two hits apiece.
The lead would not last long, however, as Barket hit an opposite field home run with one out in the bottom of the second, and following a double by Owings, redshirt-freshman left fielder Will Rice tied things up with an RBI-single up the middle to make it a 2-2 ballgame.
The Green Wave kept the pressure on in the following inning as Tulane loaded the bases when Emaus walked, Manzella doubled and senior catcher Scott Madden was hit by a pitch. Barket ground into a double play in the next at-bat, but that was good enough to score Emaus from third and break the tie. From there, sophomore first baseman Mark Hamilton ripped an RBI-double to left center, and Owings followed with his second double of the day to give Tulane a 5-2 advantage.
UAB reliever Ryan Huffman was able to keep Tulane off the scoreboard in the fourth and fifth innings, but in the sixth, would load the bases by giving up a single to Owings and walking both senior second baseman Joe Holland and junior centerfielder Nathan Southard. Blazers' coach Larry Giangrosso went to the bullpen again, but closer Eric Roberts could not replicate Huffman's fire-extinguishing ability as Emaus hit the first of four consecutive singles with an RBI-base hit to center to open the floodgates of an eight-run rally.
Manzella followed with a two-RBI single to right, Madden plated a pair with a base knock through the left side of the infield, and Barket singled up the middle to chase Roberts from the game. UAB went to the bullpen again, this time bringing in Brian Flaherty, who got the second out of the inning on a sacrifice fly to Hamilton before serving up a two-run homer to Owings to close out the Tulane scoring.
The Blazers would mount a bit of a comeback in the top of the seventh by taking close pitches that accounted for five walks in the inning, but Fairchild would keep the damage to a minimum and UAB would not score again the rest of the way.
Tulane returns to action on Tuesday, April 5, when the Green Wave travels across town to take on the Privateers of UNO at 6:30 p.m. at Maestri Field. Tickets to that game can be purchase through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office for just $6. For more information, contact the Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE.