Top Ranked Tulane To Host Nicholls State Tuesday

On the heels of a 4-0 week, the Tulane University held steady in a pair of polls while jumping from No. 2 to No. 1 in the latest Collegiate Baseball poll, released Monday. In addition, the Green Wave held steady at No. 3 in both the Baseball America and Sports Weekly/ESPN Top 25 Coaches polls.

NEW ORLEANS, La.–After putting together a 4-0 week when all four victories came on the road, the No. 1 ranked Tulane University baseball team will look to keep the ball rolling at home when the Green Wave play host to Nicholls State on Tuesday, April 12, at 6:30 p.m. at Turchin Stadium.

Tulane enters the midweek matchup vs. Nicholls State 29-5 on the year and riding the crest of a season-best nine-game winning streak dating back to March 26. The Green Wave have also won 10 consecutive games against the Colonels, including a 3-1 win on March 29 in Thibodaux, La.

Tuesday's game will be broadcast live on the radio on the flagship station of Tulane baseball, WRBH 88.3 FM. In addition, live stats will be available on via Game Tracker on the internet at www.tulanegreenwave.com.

As a team, the Green Wave are hitting .315 with a .498 slugging percentage courtesy of 76 doubles, six triples and 41 home runs. Senior first baseman/catcher Scott Madden leads the team with a .378 batting average, and freshman third baseman Brad Emaus is next with a .372 clip. Junior utility athlete Micah Owings paces Tulane with nine home runs, and senior shortstop Tommy Manzella leads the club with 34 RBI.

From the mound, the Green Wave have a 3.56 ERA and have held opponents to a .243 batting average. As a staff, Tulane hurlers have combined for 293 strikeouts and just 86 walks. Junior southpaw J.R. Crowel will start for Tulane on Tuesday, and is coming off a complete-game, three-hit shutout last week when he struck out a career-best 10 in the Green Wave's 6-0 win at UNO.

Crowel, who was named Conference USA Co-Pitcher of the Week on Monday, enters the game with a flawless 6-0 record with a 4.37 ERA. In his last 29.1 innings of work, however, Crowel has a sparkling 0.61 ERA while allowing a pair of runs on 13 hits and posting 24 strikeouts.

Nicholls State, meanwhile, comes into Tuesday night's game 15-18 on the year, and looking to get back on the winning track after snapping an eight-game losing streak Sunday with a 2-0 victory over Southland Conference foe Texas-San Antonio.

The Colonels are hitting .284 as a team with a .387 slugging percentage on the strength of 63 doubles, five triples and 14 home runs. Bubba Bell paces the squad with a .407 batting average, followed by Anthony Hatch and Jose Higuera with marks of .393 and .306, respectively. Hatch leads the team with six home runs, and Bell paces the squad with 32 RBI.

As a staff, Nicholls State has a 5.51 ERA, has held opponents to post a .282 batting average and has combined for 210 strikeouts and 146 walks in 282.2 innings of work. Senior right-hander Jacob Naquin will take the bump for the Colonels, and will be making his first appearance of the 2005 season.

Naquin, who will be making his first career start on Tuesday, appeared in 10 games as a junior in 2004 when he gave up eight runs on 12 hits while walking 10 and striking out four in 7.2 innings of work.

Tuesday night's game vs. Nicholls State marks the 62nd time the Green Wave and Colonels have met on the diamond, and Tulane holds a 40-21 advantage in the all-time series, including a 20-5 mark under 12th year head coach Rick Jones. The last time the Colonels defeated the Green Wave was in the first of three meetings back in 2000, when Nicholls claimed a 9-8 decision on Feb. 22 at Ray E. Didier Field.

Following the game against the Colonels, Tulane returns to action on Friday, April 15, when the Green Wave open a three-game slate vs. Conference USA rival Houston at 6:30 p.m. at Turchin Stadium. For ticket information, contact the Tulane University Athletics Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE.

POLL UPDATE: On the heels of a 4-0 week, the Tulane University held steady in a pair of polls while jumping from No. 2 to No. 1 in the latest Collegiate Baseball poll, released Monday. In addition, the Green Wave held steady at No. 3 in both the Baseball America and Sports Weekly/ESPN Top 25 Coaches polls.

$250 GIVEAWAY: Tulane students who attend Tuesday's baseball game vs. Nicholls State will have an opportunity to win $250 courtesy of Tulane Dining Services. Each student in attendance will receive a key to the Big Easy Café Treasure Chest, and one of those keys will open the chest, which is located in the Big Easy Café in Bruff Commons. Students can try to open the treasure chest on April 13 and 14, and each student who attempts to do so, will receive a free fountain drink.


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