No.1 Wave Completes Sweep Of Marist With 11-5 Win

The Green Wave return to action on Tuesday, March 8, when they travel to Baton Rouge to take on arch-rival LSU at 6:30 p.m. The game will be televised live on Cox Sports Television (local channel 37) and will also be broadcast live on the radio at WRBH 883. FM

NEW ORLEANS, La.–Junior first baseman Micah Owings hammered a pair of tape-measure home runs and the Green Wave broke open a close game with a five-run eighth as the No. 1 ranked Tulane University baseball team completed the sweep of Marist with an 11-5 win Sunday afternoon at Turchin Stadium before a crowd of 2,529.

Owings was one of three Green Wave players to leave the yard as freshman third baseman Brad Emaus ripped a two-run bomb in the fourth and senior shortstop Tommy Manzella clubbed a solo shot one inning later. With the victory, Tulane improves to 13-1 on the year. Marist, meanwhile, falls to 1-5.

"The four home runs were basically the difference today, the pop in the lineup," head coach Rick Jones said. "All four home runs came at critical times to stretch the lead or get us back going. We're basically a pitching and defensive club. Some days were going to be able to hit the way we did (on Saturday) and some days we're going to have to rely on the long ball. But what we strive to have is a balanced club, and I think we're getting closer to that."

Tulane held a 6-1 lead after five, but the Red Foxes would plate four runs on four hits and a walk in the sixth to make it a 6-5 contest. The drama would not last long, however, as the Green Wave capitalized on free passes issued by Marist hurlers to score five runs on one hit – a three-run single by senior catcher Greg Dini – in the bottom of the eighth to account for the final score.

Junior southpaw J.R. Crowel (3-0) earned the win for the Green Wave, striking out five and walking a pair in a 5.2-inning start. Junior right-hander Billy Mohl tossed a 1.1 innings of scoreless relief, and sophomore Daniel Latham pitched the final two scoreless frames to earn his first save of the year.

After a pair of scoreless innings, Marist left fielder Thomas Ciccarone broke the deadlock on a two-out solo home run to left in the third. Starter George Heath, who held the Tulane offense in check after giving up just two singles in the first three innings of the ballgame, was lifted in favor of Tom Close to start the fourth, and Close got the first two batters he faced with a foul-out and a strikeout.

The next three pitches Close threw, however, would set the tone for the day as Owings hammered the first toss he saw over the screen in left, junior centerfielder Nathan Southard bunted for a base hit, and Emaus turned on the next offering and sent it over the left field wall to put the Green Wave up 3-1.

Manzella kept the bomb squad going with a leadoff homer in the fifth, and following a two-out double by Dini, Owings belted a 420-plus foot bomb to straight-away center to give the home team a five-run advantage.

The Red Foxes would make things interesting in the top of the sixth as catcher Bryan Towler drew a one-out walk and second baseman Joe Sargent singled in the ensuing at-bat. From there, designated hitter Justin LePore dinked a RBI-single to right and third baseman Pat Feeney ripped a run-scoring double to the gap in left center to make it a 6-3 ballgame. Crowel battled back to strikeout right fielder Kevin Grauer for the second out of the inning before being lifted in favor of Mohl, and shortstop Andy Kiriakedes greeted Mohl rudely with a two-run single through the left side of the infield to make it a one-run affair.

Mohl would get out of the inning by inducing a groundball from centerfielder Travis Musolf, and sat down the Red Foxes in order in the seventh. Latham came on for Tulane to start the eight, and gave up just one single while striking out a pair to close out the game.

The Green Wave offense, meanwhile, would give Latham some room to work with in the bottom of the eighth. Southard walked to open the frame, went to second on a balk and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Emaus. Southard was nearly caught in a rundown following a groundball off the bat of freshman second baseman Cat Everett, but the speedy outfielder was not only able to string the play out to allow Everett to reach second, but also was able to get back to third as Towler hesitated just a moment too long with a throw back to the bag.

Junior centerfielder Brian Bogusevic followed with a walk to load the bases, and Manzella gave Tulane an insurance run with a sacrifice fly to right. The bases were juiced again when senior left fielder Matt Barket drew an intentional walk, and reserve designated hitter Will Rice earned RBI the easy way with a base on balls to put Tulane ahead, 8-5.

Dini would put the game out of reach with a bloop single to center to account for the final score. Musolf came in hard on the ball, but a diving effort came up short and all three runners would touch the paystation.

The Green Wave return to action on Tuesday, March 8, when they travel to Baton Rouge to take on arch-rival LSU at 6:30 p.m. The game will be televised live on Cox Sports Television (local channel 37) and will also be broadcast live on the radio at WRBH 883. FM.

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