NEW ORLEANS, La.–Junior southpaw J.R. Crowel struck out six in a 6.0-inning start, and junior first baseman Micah Owings went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer as the No. 1 Tulane University baseball team defeated Nicholls State, 11-1, in a 10-run-rule shortened, seven-inning contest Tuesday night at Turchin Stadium.
The Colonels out-hit the Green Wave, 10-8, but Tulane took advantage of a season-high 13 walks, a hit batsman, an error and a wild pitch to account for eight of its 11 runs. The boys in olive and blue were up 4-0 after five innings without the benefit of a run-scoring base hit, and pounded out six hits over the final two innings to account for the final score.
With the win, Tulane runs its winning streak to 10 games – the school's longest streak since tying a school-record with 15 straight back in 2001 – and claimed its 11th consecutive victory over the Colonels to improve to 30-5 on the year. Nicholls State, meanwhile, falls to 15-19.
Crowel earned the win for the Green Wave, fanning six, scattering eight hits and allowing no no walks during his time on the mound, to improve to 7-0 in 2005. The outing loweres Crowel's ERA to 3.88 and he has now held opponents scoreless in his last 26.0 innings.
The game lasted three hours and 14 minutes, including a 20-minute delay when a power surge caused the stadium lights to go out. Once power was restored and the game commenced, the Green Wave bats came alive as senior shortstop Tommy Manzella roped a one-out double to set the stage for Owings' bomb, his 10th of the season.
From there, junior designated hitter Brian Bogusevic hit a double off the top of the wall in left central and redshirt-freshman Rustin Rebowe – whose father, Rusty, was an All-American linebacker for the Colonels in the mid 70s – hit an RBI-double to the same locale for his first career hit to plate rookie pinch runner Robbie Whitman with the game-deciding run.
Colonels' starter Jacob Naquin, who was making his first appearance of the season and his first career start, kept Tulane off balance through three innings, but Nicholls' reliever Paul Labiche had trouble keeping the ball over the plate as he gave up a one-out double to Bogusevic before walking three consecutive batters to make it a 1-0 ballgame.
One inning later, Labiche issued free passes to the first two men he faced before giving way to fellow bullpen arm Aaron Turano. The walks kept coming, however, as Turano issued a base on balls to Owings before plunking Bogusevic with the bases loaded to put Tulane ahead, 2-0. Turano struck out the next batter he saw, but proceeded to give up an RBI-walk to senior right fielder Matt Barket and a run-scoring fielder's choice off the bat of senior second baseman Joe Holland to give the Green Wave a 4-0 advantage.
After getting freshman third baseman Brad Emaus to fly out to right to start the sixth, Turano walked Manzella and senior catcher Scott Madden before NSU skipper B.D. Parker called on Chris Greer to put out the fire. Greer was able to keep the ball over the plate, but Owings ripped an RBI-single up the middle and Bogusevic reached on an error that allowed another run to score. Sophomore left fielder Mark Hamilton walked to load the bases, and Barket followed with a two-run single back through the box to make it an 8-0 affair.
The lights went out prior to the start of the seventh, and the Colonels would avoid the shutout in the inning as centerfielder Josh Thomas singled off Tulane reliever Ricky Fairchild to lead off the frame, advanced the bases on a wild pitch and a base-hit off the bat of shortstop Tim Daigle and score on a fielder's choice by three-hole hitter, Bubba Bell.
Fairchild would get out of the inning with no more damage done, and the Green Wave bats exploded for four runs in the home half of the frame to account for the final score.
No.1 Tulane Bests Nicholls State At Turchin, 11-1
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