Baseball Looks For Third Straight C-USA Tournament Title



May 15, 2000

CHICAGO - Houston has captured its second consecutive regular season Conference USA championship and will be the No. 1 seed at the 2000 C-USA

baseball tournament in St. Petersburg, Fla. The tournament will be held May 17-21 at Florida Power Park, the spring training home of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the regular season home of the St. Petersburg Devil Rays of the

Class A Florida State League.

The Cougars posted a best-ever 21-4 conference record and have an overall mark of 39-14, to rank as high as No. 8 in the national polls. The balanced Cougar attack features one of the league's top pitching staffs, led by starters Kyle Crowell, Shane Nance and Duncan McAdoo.

Second-seeded Tulane will be looking to win its third straight C-USA tournament after finishing in second place in the regular season at 20-6-1 in league play and 37-18-1 overall. Tulane is led by sophomore third baseman Jake Gautreau, the Green Wave's hitting, home runs and RBI leader, along with record-setting lefthanded pitcher Jared Berkowitz.

The No. 3 seed is Southern Miss, who finished the regular season at 15-10, 31-24. The Golden Eagles are counting on righthander Chad Rogers and catcher Chris Finnegan to help them make a return trip to the NCAA Tournament.

UNC Charlotte (15-11, 31-23-1) will be the fourth seed and play fifth seeded South Florida (14-13, 28-27), the host institution for the tournament, in the opening round. UNCC features a solid pitching trio of Brion Treadway, Ryan Baker and John McKay, while South Florida will answer with solid hitters like shortstop Johnny Raburn, first baseman Daniel Boyd and third baseman Mike Eylward.

Posting back-to-back 30 win seasons for the first time in its history, Cincinnati (11-16, 32-24) enters the tournament as the No. 6 seed. Number 7 seed UAB (10-15, 26-30), won seven of its last 10, while No. 8 seed Louisville (10-16-1, 17-35-1) took two-of-three from UNC Charlotte this past weekend and will be making its fourth trip to the state of Florida this season.

The championship will follow the double-elimination College World Series format, with the championship game scheduled for 2:00 p.m. EDT on

Sunday on Fox Sports Net. Drew Goodman will serve as the play-by-play commentator, while former major league outfielder Jay Johnstone will be the analyst. The winner of the championship game receives the conference's automatic bid to the 2000 NCAA Baseball Championship.

Day One Schedule:
Wednesday, May 17

Game 1  (7) UAB vs. (2) Tulane                  9:00 a.m. EDT
Game 2  (6) Cincinnati vs. (3) Southern Miss   12:30 p.m. EDT
Game 3  (8) Louisville vs. (1) Houston          4:00 p.m. EDT
Game 4  (5) South Florida vs. (4) UNC Charlotte 7:30 p.m. EDT

Thu., May 18

Game Five
Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2   9:00a
Game Six
Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4   12:30p
Game Seven
Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 4:00p
Game Eight
Winner Game 3 vs.Winner Game 4  7:30p

Fri., May 19

Game Nine
Winner Game 5 vs. Loser Game 7  3:00p
Game 10
Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 8  6:30p

Sat., May 20

Game 11
Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 9   9:00a
Game 12
Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 10 12:30p

All times Eastern.

Sat., May 20

Game 13 (if necessary)
Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 9    4:00p
Game 14 (if necessary)
Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 10   7:30p

Sun., May 21

Championship Game (Fox Sports Net)
Teams TBD       2:00p