May 20, 2001
METAIRIE, La.- For the fourth time in six years, the Tulane baseball team has won the Conference USA Tournament title. The Green Wave defeated South Florida (32-29) 21-4 in the championship game on Sunday afternoon at Zephyr Field.
With the win the Green Wave improves to 50-10 on the year, setting a school record for wins in a single season. The 24 hits recorded by Tulane is also a Conference USA Tournament record.
South Florida starter John Vigue struck out Tulane lead off hitter Jon Kaplan to get the first out of the first inning. He then hit Andy Cannizaro, who stole second and scored on a two-out double by James Jurries to give the Wave an early 1-0 lead.
The lead didn‚t last long, as the Bulls put up three runs in the bottom of the third. Green Wave starter Matt Foster gave up a lead-off, game-tying home run to right fielder Bill Naharodny. Mike Macaluso followed with a single and advanced on a ground out and scored on a single by Chris Cuccia. Myron Leslie, who walked and advanced into scoring position on Cuccia‚s single, scored on a Kris Courier two-out single. Joey Charron relieved Foster and struck out Allen Shirley to end the inning.
The Green Wave answered with a huge inning, They scored eight runs on eight hits, including seven consecutive singles. Six of the 12 Tulane batters sent in runs to give the Wave a 9-3 lead after four innings.
Tulane also added a run in the sixth. Jake Gautreau hit a one-out double and advanced to second on a Jurries fly out. He scored on a Michael Aubrey single, giving Tulane a 10-3 lead. South Florida answered with a run in the bottom of the inning, thanks to a Courier home run.
A five-run seventh extended the Tulane lead. The Wave started the inning
with singles by Jay Heintz, Anthony Giarratano and Scott Madden. Heintz
scored on a sacrifice fly by Jon Kaplan, Giarratano scored on a single
by Andy Cannizaro and two more runs scored on a double by Jurries. A
Matt Groff sacrifice fly sent in the final run of the inning. Cannizaro
was 4-for-6 with a game high four RBI. Kaplan also recorded four hits
and scored three runs.
Charron (6-1) got the win for Tulane. He went 5 1/3 innings, scattered five hits, one run and struck out three. Aubrey was 4-for-5 with one run and two RBI.
The losing pitcher was John Vigue (7-5). He gave up six runs in three innings.
The Green Wave placed five players to the all-tournament team including the most valuable player. Barth Melius received the MVP honors. In the tournament, he was 1-0 and recorded two saves. Through 5 1/3 innings of work, Melius gave up only one hit. Giarratano, Gautreau, Scott Madden and Beau Richardson received C-USA All-Tournament honors.