June 4, 2005
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Junior first baseman Micah Owings went 4-for-5 with a double, two home runs and five RBI, and junior southpaw Brian Bogusevic gave the Green Wave 7.1 solid innings on the mound, as the top-ranked Tulane University baseball team defeated second-seeded Alabama, 10-4, Saturday evening in day two of the 2005 NCAA New Orleans Regional at Turchin Stadium.
Tulane jumped out to a 5-0 lead after four and a half innings, including a three-run bomb by Owings in the third, but the Crimson Tide took advantage of an unusually wild Bogusevic to plate three runs and cut the lead to two. Bama added another run in the seventh on a solo home run by shortstop Cale Iorg, but the Green Wave exploded for five runs over the final two frames - including a solo homer by Owings - to make it a runaway.
"(Micah) is an outstanding player and he had a great game when it meant the most," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "His play defensively was also outstanding. He had four hits and two home runs - the one that stretched the lead the first time and the one that stretched it to a four-run lead (late)."
With the win, Tulane improves to 52-9 on the year, and advances to the championship game on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. The Green Wave will take on the winner of Sunday's elimination game between Louisiana-Lafayette and Alabama, which is slated to begin at 2:30 p.m.
Bogusevic (13-1) faced just two more than the minimum over the first four innings, and held a 5-0 lead courtesy of a sacrifice fly by senior catcher Greg Dini in the first, Owings' three-run blast in the third and a run-scoring double by Owings two innings later. In the fifth, however, Bogusevic allowed three singles to load the bases with only one out, and designated hitter Allen Rice put the Crimson Tide on the board.
"He had a long inning and in this heat and humidity, it can take its toll," Jones said. "He kept us in the game. It was all a credit to him because Alabama is a good hitting team."
Iorg's homer in the seventh made it a one-run game, but the Green Wave answered in the top of the eighth when senior designated hitter Scott Madden singled and sophomore left fielder Mark Hamilton walked to open the frame, and the pair advanced a base on a wild pitch by Tide reliever David Robertson. From there, junior centerfielder Nathan Southard ripped a two-run double down the third base line to give Tulane some breathing room at 7-4.
Bogusevic retired the first man he faced in the eighth, but after giving up a walk to Morrow Thomley, Jones called on sophomore right-hander Daniel Latham. Latham was up to the task, retiring all five men he faced - including a pair of strikeouts - to earn his 11th save of the season.
The Tulane offense made Latham's ninth inning a little easier as Owings hammered a one-out solo home run over the scoreboard in left center, Dini walked, and Hamilton followed with a two-run homer of his own to account for the final score.
Alabama starter Brent Carter was tagged with the loss after giving up five runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings of work to fall to 7-4 on the year. Jordan Davis allowed one run on a hit through 1.1 frames of relief, but David Robertson was tagged for four runs on three hits in 1.2 stanzas in the loss.
NOTES: Owings' two-homer day was his third of the season and he tied a season high with five RBI...his 18 home runs is the most by a Tulane student-athlete since James Jurries belted 20 in 2002...Latham now has 11 saves in 2005, which ranks tied for third in Tulane single season history (Brandon Belanger, 2000), and his 17 career saves is fourth in Green Wave history...Tulane advances to a Regional championship game for the fourth time in school history...the Green Wave won Regional crowns in 2001 (New Orleans) and 2004 (Oxford), but lost to LSU in 1986.