Sophomore second baseman Tommy Manzella went 5-for-8 with two home runs and three RBI in Saturday's doubleheader at Saint Louis.
April 26, 2003
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - The Green Wave belted six home runs, including two by sophomore second baseman Tommy Manzella, as the Tulane University baseball team split a doubleheader at Conference USA foe Saint Louis Saturday afternoon at the Billikens Sports Center.
Tulane dropped the opener 12-8, but battled back in the nightcap to take a 13-4 decision to set up the rubber match on Sunday with first pitch slated for 1 p.m. With the split, the Green Wave (31-14, 13-7) put themselves in position to not only win their first series on the road, but also match the amount of regular-season wins from a year ago.
In game two, Manzella turned a 4-4 tie into a Tulane runaway with a leadoff home run in the fifth to give the Green Wave a 5-4 lead they would not relinquish. Following a scoreless sixth, Tulane padded its lead in the seventh when pinch-hitter Gerald Clark hit a leadoff single and Manzella walked before freshman outfielder Nathan Southard crushed a three-run homer over the wall in left field to give the Green Wave a 8-4 lead.
One inning later, shortstop Tony Giarratano hit a one-out single, and junior first baseman Michael Aubrey followed with a walk, the duo advanced the bases on a double steal, and Giarratano scored on an errant throw by Billiken catcher Andrew Slania. Aubrey came around to score later in the inning on a wild pitch by reliever Kurt Struckhoff, and Manzella hit his second bomb of the day to close out the three-run inning.
Junior catcher Brian Bormaster closed out the scoring in the ninth with his first home run of the year - a towering, two-run shot that scored freshman third baseman Tim Guidry who walked earlier in the frame.
Freshman southpaw J.R. Crowel, who got off to a bit of a rocky start by giving up four earned runs in the first two innings, settled down to give the Green Wave a complete-game effort to improve to 7-0 on the year.
Tulane got off to a good start in game one, racing out to a 4-0 lead courtesy after two and a half innings. Tulane drew first blood in the second when Southard and Manzella hit back-to-back one-out singles, Southard scored on a double steal, and sophomore designated hitter Wes Swackhamer hit a two-run homer to right to give the Green Wave a 3-0 lead. The Green Wave padded its lead in the top of the third when Giarratano singled and scored on a misplayed ball off the bat of Aaron Feldman, but Saint Louis stormed back in the home half of the frame with two runs on five hits to cut the lead in half.
Following a scoreless fourth, the Billikens broke the game open with seven runs on seven hits in the fifth to take a commanding 9-4 lead.
Tulane mounted several comebacks, scoring a pair of runs in the sixth and single runs in the seventh and eighth innings, but the Billikens answered with a run in the seventh and another in the eighth to keep the Green Wave at arms reach en route to the 12-8 win.
Following Sunday's 1p.m. contest against Saint Louis, Tulane returns to action on Tuesday, April 29 when they take on arch-rival LSU at 7 p.m. in the Louisiana Superdome. The season series between the Green Wave and the Tigers is tied at one game each. For ticket information, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE. Tickets can also be purchased through Ticketmaster outlets and on the internet at www.ticketmaster.com.