Eight Not Enough

Alabama tallied eight hits in its 10-4 loss to Tulane, but needed much more to combat Tulane first baseman Micah Owings' four hits and five RBI that led an explosive Green Wave offense Saturday at Turchin Stadium in New Orleans.

Owings gave Tulane a 4-0 lead with a mammoth three-run home run that cleared the scoreboard in left field in the third inning. He added an RBI double in the fifth as Tulane took a 5-0 lead. The junior hit his second home run of the night with one out in the ninth inning over the left field scoreboard.

Owings has 17 home runs on the season to lead the Green Wave. It was his third multi home run game of the season. He also posted his second, four-hit and second, five RBI game of the 2005 season.

Alabama (39-22) faces a rematch with Louisiana-Lafayette at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The winner of that game will face Tulane at 6:30 p.m. while the loser will be eliminated.

"Tulane's a very good team," Alabama Head Coach Jim Wells said. "Our team battled back, and we got it close, certainly when Tulane made it a 7-4 ballgame it made it tougher, but I still felt like we could come back, but then the game got out of hand."

"Our team should certainly feel like they can play with the number one team in the country, and hopefully we can get back tomorrow night," he said.

The Green Wave (52-9) is in the catbird's seat, having to win just once more to advance to a Super Regional.

"When you have as many good hitters as they do, locating every pitch is so important," Wells said. "For the most part, until late in the game, I feel we did that. You're not going to keep a good team like Tulane down. I don't think you can keep them under five runs.

Alabama, playing as the home team even though the game was at Tulane's field, battled back from a 5-0 deficit to pull within a run at 5-4 after Cale Iorg hit a solo blast to left field to off Tulane starting pitcher Brian Bogusevic in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Crimson Tide scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to cut the deficit to 5-3. With the bases loaded, senior DH Allen Rice lifted a sac fly to center to score Morrow Thomley from third base.

Iorg plated another run in the fifth with an RBI single to right field to scored junior catcher Kody Valverde from second base, and junior third baseman Evan Bush drew a bases loaded walk to force sophomore center fielder Emeel Salem home from third base as the Tide pulled to within 5-3 before senior first baseman Zac Welch grounded out to the end the inning.

"Good teams can always answer when another team makes a run, and we felt like we could do that against them when we made it 5-4," Wells said. "Then they answered back and we weren't able to finish. On any other night I feel like we could have done it."

Tulane got a workmanlike seven and one third innings pitching performance from Bogusevic (13-1), who scattered eight Alabama hits, allowing four runs in the 129-pitch performance. Bogusevic walked five and struck out five Bama batters.

Daniel Latham retired all five batters he faced with two strikeouts for his 11th save of the year and second of the regional.

UA starter Brent Carter (7-4) allowed five runs and nine hits, with two walks and two strikeouts and suffered his first career NCAA Regional loss in four appearances.

Alabama will start T.J. Large against Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday, while ULL is expected to pitch Austin Faught (12-0, 2.45 ERA).

In Saturday's other game, UL Lafayette eliminated Southern with a 9-1 win.


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