Green Wave Baseball Wrapup

At 22-5 in league play, Tulane currently holds a three-game lead over current runner-up TCU, which sandwiched a pair of wins around a Saturday loss to Louisville. The C-USA Championship marks the fourth time in the 10-year history of the league that Tulane claimed the regular-season crown, and is the first time since 2001 that the Green Wave claimed a conference crown.

Tulane enjoyed its first series sweep at Saint Louis since 1997 as the Green Wave defeated the Billikens 16-7 Friday night in the opener, posted a 6-0 shutout on Sunday, and claimed a 15-4 victory in a seven-inning, 10-run-rule shortened contest at the Billiken Sports Center. Tulane posted double-digit hit totals in two of the three games, including 19 in Friday's win.

Every Green Wave position starter hit at least .308 for the week, and as a team, Tulane hit .381 (40-for-105) and posted a .469 slugging percentage on the strength of 13 doubles and five home runs. The starting trio of Micah Owings, Brian Bogusevic and J.R. Crowel all factored into the three decisions over the weekend, and the Tulane staff posted 29 strikeouts against just six walks.

While the Green Wave faithful were celebrating Tulane's 15-4 series-finale victory over Saint Louis Sunday at the Billiken Sports Complex, the team had something bigger to celebrate as the boys in olive green and sky blue clinched at least a share of the 2005 Conference USA regular-season title. At 22-5 in league play, Tulane currently holds a three-game lead over current runner-up TCU, which sandwiched a pair of wins around a Saturday loss to Louisville. This C-USA Championship marks the fourth time in the 10-year history of the league that Tulane claimed the regular-season crown, and is the first time since 2001 that the Green Wave claimed a conference crown. Tulane also won the C-USA regular-season title in 1997 and 1998, while winning tournament titles in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2001. The Green Wave need just one win in three tries in the regular season's final series, which pits Tulane and TCU at Turchin Stadium beginning on Thursday, May 19, at 6:30 p.m.

By taking all three games at Saint Louis over the weekend, Tulane claimed its 11th sweep of the 2005 regular season and second road sweep of the year. Tulane has broken out the brooms now against Southeast Missouri State (Feb. 11-12), Arizona State (Feb. 18-20), Marist (March 4-6), East Carolina (March 18-20), UAB (April 1-3), Charlotte (April 8-10), LSU (March 8 and April 19), Nicholls State (March 29, April 12 and April 26), New Orleans (March 1, April 5 and May 3), Memphis (May 6-8), and now the Billikens. In those games, the Green Wave have outscored its opponents by a combined margin of 308-119 while hitting .351 (385-for-1097) and posting a team 3.23 ERA.

All nine starters posted at least one hit in Friday's 16-7, series-opening win at Saint Louis, marking the ninth time in 2005 that Tulane accomplished that feat. In addition, Nathan Southard, Tommy Manzella, Brian Bogusevic, Micah Owings, Joe Holland and Matt Barket all had at least one hit in all three games of the weekend. The Tulane lineup has now posted at least one hit each vs. Arizona State (Feb. 18), at Pepperdine (Feb. 25), New Orleans (March 1), Marist (March 6), UAB (April 1), at Charlotte (April 8), Memphis (May 6) and Saint Louis (May 13).

One of the common themes throughout the 2005 season has been the Tulane offense's ability to get on base via the walk and the pitching staff's knack for keeping the ball over the plate. With just three games left to play in the regular season, Green Wave hitters have combined for 271 walks (compared to just 281 strikeouts), and nearly a third of the walks have come around to score as 100 of Tulane's 432 runs scored initially reached base via walk. The Tulane arms have posted 463 strikeouts and just 145 walks. Tulane's K total currently ranks tied for seventh in school history (1995), and the single season record is 569 set by the 1996 squad. If the Green Wave can maintain its average 8.74 strikeouts per game, Tulane would have to play another 12 games to eclipse the current mark.

A year ago, the Tulane baseball team posted eight shutout victories. The 2005 squad picked up where the previous team left off with seven zeros in the first 53 games, including a combined shutout by Brian Bogusevic and Daniel Latham on Saturday at Saint Louis. Bogusevic struck out nine and scattered four hits in eight innings of work, while Latham tossed a perfect ninth, including a strikeout for the final out of the ballgame. The Green Wave opened the year with a 9-0 victory over Southeast Missouri on Feb. 11, defeated McNeese State, 3-0 on Feb. 15, and posted another 3-0 win at Pepperdine on Feb. 25. In addition, Tulane posted shutout victories at UNO (8-0 on April 5), at Charlotte (13-0 on April 8) and tossed a no-hitter against Nicholls State (3-0 on April 26) before blanking the Billikens on Saturday.

Player of the Week Nominee: Brian Bogusevic • Jr. • LHP/OF • 6-3 • 211 • Oak Lawn, Ill. (De La Salle Institute)
Hit .455 (5-for-11) with two doubles and a pair of RBI at the plate while striking out nine in eight shutout innings from the mound Saturday vs. C-USA foe Saint Louis...had at least one hit in all three games, and posted a .571 on-base percentage with three walks...had two-hit outings in the first two games of the weekend, going 2-for-3 with a double, and stolen base and four runs scored on Friday while helping his own cause with a 2-for-4 showing on Saturday...in his start on the mound, limited the Billikens to four hits, allowed multiple base runners just once and had just two runners get as far as second base... after giving up three hits in the first four innings, he faced the minimum over his final four frames with a pair of three-up, three-down innings and getting a pair of inning-ending double plays in the sixth and seventh.


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