Alabama's Morrow Thomley (27) runs past Louisiana-Lafayette's Justin Merendino (6) after hitting a home run in the fourth inning in the New Orleans Regional of the NCAA college baseball tournament Sunday June 5, 2005. Thomley hit the home run with two men on base. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)
June 5, 2005
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Morrow Thomley hit a two-run homer to keep Alabama alive with a 4-3 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette in the third round of the New Orleans NCAA regional.
The victory earned Alabama (40-22) a second shot at No. 1 seed Tulane. The Crimson Tide, which beat Lafayette-Louisiana in the first round, lost to Tulane on Saturday.
Louisiana-Lafayette (48-19) finished the season just one win shy of matching a team record for victories.
Both teams had seven hits, but the Tide had the big ones.
Alabama took a 2-0 lead on Thomley's fourth-inning home run to left field. The Tide added two more in the fifth inning on a double by Allen Rice and a sacrifice fly by Evan Bush to make it 4-0.
Louisiana-Lafayette cut the lead to 4-2 on a homer by Dallas Morris in the bottom of the sixth.
The Cajuns' only other run was a ninth-inning home run by Justin Morgan.
The game had weather problems from the start and was delayed for 22 minutes by rain. Play was stopped in the bottom of the fifth by lightning then delayed an hour and 36 minutes by rain.
The Cajuns suffered from a lack of pitching throughout the regional. In the opener ULL tried to get help from their ace Kevin Ardoin. But Ardoin, who had struggled in his last four starts before the regional, gave up two singles, a two-run homer, had two wild pitches and hit a batter before making a hasty exit.
On Sunday, Austin Faught, the Sun Belt pitcher of the year, started for the Cajuns. He had not thrown from the mound for nine days because of a sore elbow in his throwing arm. He had thrown on Saturday, however, and thought he'd be able to pitch. He worked for two innings, struck out three of the six batters he faced, then was forced to leave when the elbow tightened up.
Alabama used three pitchers. T.J. Large started and was replaced by Matt Downs (2-0) in the fifth. Jordan Davis came on in the ninth to close out the game, earning his third save of the year.
Jered Salazar (6-3) was the loser.