Tulane Drops Series Opener To Houston, 6-4

Tulane and Houston will battle again on Saturday at 2 p.m., and the two teams close out the weekend on Sunday with first pitch slated for 1 p.m. Both games will be broadcast live on the radio on WRBH 88.3 FM, and Saturday's contest will be simulcast on WTIX AM 690. In addition, Sunday's ballgame will be televised locally on Cox 10

NEW ORLEANS, La.–Junior outfielders Nathan Southard and Brian Bogusevic each had two hits, but it was not enough as the Tulane University baseball team dropped a 6-4 decision to Conference USA foe Houston in the series opener Friday night at Turchin Stadium.

Tulane trailed 3-0 after six and a half innings, but scored four runs on the strength of four hits and a walk in the bottom of the seventh to take a 4-3 advantage. The lead would not last long, however, as the Cougars roared back with three runs in the eighth, and Houston closer Justin Vaclavik would keep the Green Wave off the board over the final two frames to clinch the Houston victory.

The loss snapped a 10-game winning streak by the Green Wave as Tulane falls to 30-6 on the year and 10-3 in conference play. Houston, meanwhile, improves to 15-18 overall and 7-5 in league action.

Tulane starter Micah Owings got off to a hot start, retiring the first six men he faced – five by strikeout – but Houston would take advantage of a huge miscue by the Green Wave in the third. Owings pitched himself into a jam by walking third baseman Bryan Pounds to open the third before giving out a two-out single to left fielder Travis Tully and a walk to second baseman Kevin Roberts in the ensuing plate appearance.

The Green Wave had a chance to get out of the inning unscathed when three-hole hitter Brad Lincoln to pop up in the infield. Owings was camped under the ball, but got out of the way at the last second as senior first baseman Scott Madden moved in, and the ball fell harmlessly to the turf for an RBI-single. Shortstop Dustin Kingsbury made matters worse for Tulane when he roped a two-run single to right one at-bat later to make it a 3-0 ballgame.

Houston's Matt Farrington kept Tulane off the scoreboard through six innings, but the Tulane offense would come alive in the seventh as senior second baseman Joe Holland hit a leadoff homer to left to open the frame, while Southard and freshman third baseman Brad Emaus singled and walked, respectively, to chase Farrington from the contest.

Vaclavik came on to try and put out the fire, but senior shortstop Tommy Manzella turned on the second pitch offered by the Cougars' closer for a two-run double that tied things up at 3-all. One out later, Madden hit an RBI-single up the middle to give the Green Wave a 4-3 advantage, but the Cougars would answer in the eighth.

Lincoln and Kingsbury hit back-to-back singles to open the inning, and a sacrifice bunt by centerfielder Kori Williams moved the runners into scoring position. From there, Tulane called on freshman closer Sean Morgan to thwart the rally but an excuse-me swing by catcher Brett Logan turned into an RBI-fielders' choice to tie the game, and the Cougars would get an RBI-double by Farrington and a bases-loaded walk by left fielder Travis Tully to account for the final score.

Owings (4-4) was tagged with the loss after giving up five runs on seven hits while striking out eight and walking three. Vaclavick earned the win out of the bullpen with 2.2 solid innings of relief where he allowed a run on two hits while striking out three with no walks.

Tulane and Houston will battle again on Saturday at 2 p.m., and the two teams close out the weekend on Sunday with first pitch slated for 1 p.m. Both games will be broadcast live on the radio on WRBH 88.3 FM, and Saturday's contest will be simulcast on WTIX AM 690. In addition, Sunday's ballgame will be televised locally on Cox 10, and live stats to both contests will be available via GameTracker on the internet at www.tulanegreenwave.com.


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