Junior shortstop Tommy Manzella was one of two Green Wave players with three hits Tuesday night against UNO in the Popeyes Cup finale.
April 13, 2004
METAIRIE, La. - Juniors Greg Dini and Tommy Manzella both went 3-for-5, and the Green Wave pounded out double-digit hits for the fourth consecutive game, but it was not enough as the Tulane University baseball team dropped the Popeyes Cup finale 6-4 to cross-town foe UNO Tuesday evening at Zephyr Field.
With the game knotted at 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth, Privateers first baseman Dana Tosoni smoked a one-out double to left and left fielder Mike Forbes followed with an RBI-single to left central to account for the winning run. The Green Wave made some noise in the top of the ninth as Dini and senior first baseman Brian Bormaster opened the frame with a double and single, respectively, but UNO reliever Grant Birely retired the next two batters via strikeout and fly out, and shortstop Nate Murray made a diving catch of a line drive off the bat of Manzella to end the game.
Tosoni was named Popeyes Cup Most Valuable Player after hitting .500 (6-for-12) with a pair of doubles, a home run and pair of RBI in the series. Both of his doubles came Tuesday night at the Shrine on Airline as UNO improved to 16-17 on the year and won the series for the first time since 2000. Tulane, meanwhile, falls to 25-10.
The Privateers drew first blood with a pair of runs in the second, but Tulane scored a run in the third and two in the fourth to make it 3-2 in favor of the Green Wave. The lead would be short-lived, however, as UNO plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth when third baseman Jay Yaconneti hit a leadoff double, advanced to third on a groundout and touched the paystation on an RBI-single by second baseman Justin Guy to tie things up.
Murray followed with a single, which allowed Guy to advance to third, and Murray was thrown out at second trying to stretch the hit into a double. The play at second, however, allowed Guy to come home, and UNO was back on top, 4-3.
Dini made it a tie ballgame with a two-out solo home run over the wall in left in the top of the fifth, and Tulane had two baserunners on in each of the final four innings. In each instance, though, Privateer pitchers got out of the jam without any harm done as the Green Wave wound up stranding 13 runners on base for the contest.
Birely earned the win for UNO with 1.2 scoreless innings of action, giving up two hits and striking out one to improve to 3-2. Tulane reliever Daniel Latham did not fare as well, giving up two runs on a pair of hits in one inning of work to fall to 1-1.
The Green Wave return to action on Friday, April 16 when they travel to Birmingham, Ala., against Conference USA foe UAB at 7 p.m. at Jerry D. Young Memorial Field. The two teams will play again on Saturday at 2 p.m. before closing out the weekend on Sunday with first pitch slated for 1 p.m.