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