NEW ORLEANS, La.–The Tulane University baseball team hopes to make its last Conference USA trip to Tampa, Fla., a memorable one as the top-ranked Green Wave travel to take on league foe USF in a three-game, weekend series at Red McEwan Field.
This weekend's games, which begin on Friday at 6 p.m. (CDT), mark Tulane's last trip to Tampa for a C-USA series as USF will be leaving the league at the end of the season. The two teams will battle again on Saturday at noon, and Tulane and USF will close out the weekend on Sunday with first pitch slated for 11 a.m. All three games will be broadcast live on the radio on WRBH 88.3 FM, and Saturday's contest will be simulcast on WTIX AM 690.
Tulane enters this weekend's Conference USA series vs. USF 36-7 and alone atop the league standings with a 14-4 C-USA record. The Green Wave have won 17 of their last 19 games, including a 3-0, no-hit victory over Nicholls State on Tuesday.
As a team, the Green Wave are hitting .313 with a .496 slugging percentage courtesy of 100 doubles, seven triples and 51 home runs. Freshman third baseman Brad Emaus leads the team with a .361 batting average, and senior first baseman/catcher Scott Madden is next with a .352 clip. Junior utility athlete Micah Owings paces Tulane with 11 home runs, while Emaus and senior shortstop Tommy Manzella lead the club with 39 RBI apiece.
From the mound, the Green Wave have a 3.56 ERA and have held opponents to a .247 batting average. As a staff, Tulane hurlers have combined for 355 strikeouts and just 114 walks in 379.1 innings. Junior southpaw Brian Bogusevic leads the team with a 2.48 ERA, 78 strikeouts and 76.1 innings pitched. Sean Morgan and Daniel Latham have been the team's best bullpen arms as Morgan has five wins and five saves, while Latham has seven saves and a win in 19 appearances.
USF, meanwhile, comes into the weekend series 25-21 on the year, 10-7 in C-USA action, and is coming off a 6-5 win over Stetson Wednesday night at Red McEwen Field.
The Bulls are hitting .273 as a team with a .431 slugging percentage on the strength of 90 doubles, 10 triples and 44 home runs. Jeff Baisley paces the squad with a .378 batting average, followed by Tim Orlosky and Brian Baisley with marks of .347 and .315, respectively. Brian Hierlmeier leads the team with nine home runs, and Jeff Baisley paces the club with 51 RBI.
As a staff, USF has a 4.73 ERA and has held opponents to a .272 batting average. Bulls hurlers have combined for 315 strikeouts and 182 walks in 396.0 innings of work. Casey Hudspeth paces the Bulls with a 3.38 ERA, seven wins and 74.2 innings pitched.Tim Mattison has been the main guy out of the bullpen and has six of USF's 12 saves so far in 2005.
This weekend's games at USF mark the 42nd, 43rd and 44th times the Green Wave and Bulls have met on the diamond, and Tulane holds a slight 23-18 advantage in the all-time series. Under 12th year head coach Rick Jones, Tulane is 21-13 vs. USF, including a 2-1 series win last year at Turchin Stadium.
The last time Tulane played at Red McEwan Field was back on May 10-12, 2002, when the Green Wave sandwiched 15-5 and 9-8 wins around a 10-3 loss to take the series two games to one.
Following the weekend in the Sunshine State, Tulane returns to action on Tuesday, May 3, when the Green Wave battles cross-town foe UNO at 6:30 p.m. at Zephyr Field. For ticket information, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at (504) 314-7232.
Baseball Travels To South Florida For C-USA Series
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