METAIRIE, La.–Junior utility athlete Micah Owings gave the Green Wave eight strong innings on the mound and came up with a clutch, two-run double in the sixth to lead the No. 1 ranked Tulane University baseball team past No. 11 Arizona State, 7-2, Saturday afternoon in front of 7,435 fans at Zephyr Field
With the score tied at 2-all, bases loaded and nobody out in the sixth, Owings drilled a rocket-shot past Sun Devil shortstop Andrew Romine to spark a five-run frame. Working from the mound, Owings (1-0) overcame a rocky start but settled down to face just three more than the minimum over his final five innings to earn his first win as a member of the Green Wave.
With the win, Tulane remains perfect on the season at 6-0 while Arizona State falls to 6-7. The two teams will close out the series on Sunday at Turchin Stadium with first pitch slated for 1 p.m.
Owings gave up just a single during the first two innings, but the Sun Devil offense would come to life in the third. Following a groundout and a failed attempt to stretch a single into a double, centerfielder J.J. Sferra and left fielder Colin Curtis sparked a two-out rally with back-to-back hits. Right fielder Travis Buck walked to load the bases, and catcher Tuffy Gosewisch – who went 3-for-4 on the day – put ASU on the board with a two-run single.
The lead would not last long, however, as Owings and senior shortstop Tommy Manzella would score in the home half of the frame courtesy of an RBI-fielder's choice by senior second baseman Joe Holland and a run-scoring single off the bat of senior outfielder Matt Barket, respectively, to make it a 2-2 ballgame.
It would remain that way over the next two innings, but in the sixth, senior catcher Scott Madden singled to open the frame and was relieved on the base path by pinch runner Will Rice. Sophomore left fielder Mark Hamilton following with a base knock of his own, and junior Nathan Southard – who took over in center in the top of the innings – was plunked to set up Owings' game-deciding double.
A one-out walk to Holland reloaded the bases, and Manzella ripped a two-run double through the left side of the infield in the ensuing at-bat to make it a 6-2 ballgame. Senior Greg Dini, who began the game at first before moving behind the plate in the seventh, brought Holland home with an RBI-single of his own two hitters later to close out the scoring.
Madden led a 13-hit performance by the Green Wave with three hits in as many trips to the plate, while Manzella and rookie third baseman Brad Emaus each had two.
Sun Devil starter Erik Averill (2-2) was saddled with the loss after giving up five runs on eight hits in five innings of work. Brett Bordes, who came in to face Owings in the sixth, did not fare much better with two runs on three hits in his lone inning, while Ty Marotz and Seth Garrison were able to keep Tulane off the board in the seventh and eighth, respectively.
Following Sunday's series finale vs. Arizona State, the Green Wave returns to action on Friday, Feb. 25, when Tulane travels to Malibu, Calif., to open a three-game slate with Pepperdine at 4 p.m. (CST) at Eddy C. Field Stadium. The Green Wave and the Waves will also play on Saturday and Sunday, with first pitch of both ballgames scheduled for 3 p.m.
BOX OFFICE NOTE: The Tulane Athletics Tickets Office, located at the James. W. Wilson, Jr. Center on Ben Weiner Drive (next to Turchin Stadium) will open on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Plenty of tickets are still available for Sunday's series finale vs. Arizona State. In addition, the "Tulane ‘Z' Pack" is now on sale as baseball fans can purchase tickets to the Cal State Fullerton (March 12) and LSU (April 19) contest at Zephyr Field for just $25 through the Tulane box office. For more information on single-game tickets, the Tulane ‘Z' Pack or season tickets, contact the ticket office at (504) 861-WAVE.
No.1 Tulane Takes 7-2 Win From No.11 Arizona State
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