June 4, 2006
OXFORD, Miss. - The Tulane baseball team stayed alive in the 2006 NCAA Oxford Regional Sunday with an 18-11 victory over South Alabama and will face host Ole Miss in Sunday's second game at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field. The Green Wave improved to 43-20 with the win while South Alabama ended its season with a 39-21 record.
The Green Wave avenged Friday night's 7-1 defeat at the hands of the Jaguars while advancing to a regional championship game for the third consecutive season. Tulane won the 2004 NCAA Oxford Regional and claimed the title at the 2005 NCAA New Orleans Regional.
Trailing 3-2 after the first inning, Tulane exploded for nine runs in the fifth inning, its largest single-inning output of the year. The Green Wave sent 13 men to the plate in the frame with all nine runs scoring with two out. In the inning, Brad Emaus' two-run single gave Tulane the lead for good and Cat Everett's two-RBI single plated the final two runs of the frame.
"You never know what's going to work for you," said Tulane Head Coach Rick Jones. "Mark Hamilton has a two-strike hit to tie the game and then we score eight more after that [for a] nine-run inning with two outs. Everything we wanted to happen, it did. We kept extending the inning, kept it going and you get the momentum boost."
Tulane collected 20 hits on the day with centerfielder Nathan Southard leading the way with four hits while Everett picked up four RBI with his three hits and scored three times. Leadoff man Matt Riser scored four runs in the game with a pair of hits and Mark Hamilton collected three RBI on three hits, including his 19th home run of the season to close out the Tulane scoring in the ninth inning.
"I was using my fastball in a lot and threw my breaking ball for strikes," Gomes said. "I felt great, everything was going and it enabled me to cruise through most of the game until the seventh. I had my split (finger fastball) going like crazy."
The Green Wave must now turn around and play the No. 1 seeded Ole Miss team which is undefeated in the tournament. Tulane must win Sunday night's contest to force a winner-take-all final and deciding game on Monday.
-- Roll Wave --