NEW ORLEANS, La.–The Tulane University baseball team will look to claim its second Conference USA title in as many weeks when the Green Wave head to Hattiesburg, Miss., to participate in the 2005 C-USA Tournament beginning Wednesday at Pete Taylor Park on the campus of Southern Miss.
Tulane enters the 2005 Conference USA Tournament 47-9 on the year and claimed the No. 1 seed in the tourney via a 24-6 C-USA mark and the regular-season championship. The Green Wave open tourney play against eighth-seeded UAB, and shares a bracket along with fourth-seeded East Carolina and fifth-seeded Houston. The winner of the C-USA tournament earns the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals.
As a team, the Green Wave are hitting .316 with a .496 slugging percentage courtesy of 131 doubles, eight triples and 66 home runs. Senior shortstop Tommy Manzella leads the team with a .368 batting average, and senior first baseman/catcher Scott Madden is next with a .347 clip. Junior utility athlete Micah Owings paces Tulane with 15 home runs, while Manzella leads the club with 55 RBI and 19 stolen bases.
From the mound, the Green Wave have a 3.82 ERA and have held opponents to a .251 batting average. As a staff, Tulane hurlers have combined for 495 strikeouts and just 152 walks in 497.1 innings. Junior southpaw Brian Bogusevic leads the team with a 2.55 ERA and 106.0 innings pitched, while he and Owings pace the club with 108 strikeouts each. Sean Morgan and Daniel Latham have been the team's best bullpen arms as Morgan has six wins and five saves, while Latham has eight saves and a win in 24 appearances.
In its 10th year of existence, the Conference USA Tournament will be hosted by the University of Southern Mississippi for the second time overall and first time since 1996 (the league's inaugural year). Tulane is 15-6 against the tournament field, including an 8-1 record against teams in its bracket. In addition, the Green Wave are 2-1 vs. second-seeded TCU, third-seeded Southern Miss and sixth-seeded USF, and 1-2 vs. No. 7 seed Louisville.
Since the inception of Conference USA prior to the 1996 season, Tulane is 26-10 in Conference USA Tournament play, including tourney championships in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2001. Tulane also advanced to the championship game a fifth time, but lost 7-5 to Southern Miss back in 2003. As the No. 1 seed, the Green Wave went 2-2 in the 1997 tournament at Turchin Stadium and went 4-1 in 2001 en route to winning the tourney title at Zephyr Field.
Tulane has had success in the postseason at Pete Taylor Park as the Green Wave won the inaugural C-USA Tournament Championship on May 19, 1996 with a 2-0 win over USF. That season, Tulane went 4-0 vs. the field with a 14-5 victory over Saint Louis in the opener, a 9-5 decision over Southern Miss in the quarterfinals and a 10-8 win over the Golden Eagles in the semifinals.
The double-elimination tournament concludes on Sunday with the championship game at 1 p.m. The contest will be aired throughout the nation on the Conference USA Network, and will be televised locally on Cox Sport Television (New Orleans channel 37). All of Tulane's tournament games will be broadcast live on the radio on WRBH 88.3 FM, and live stats will be available online via Game Tracker on www.tulanegreenwave.com.
Tulane Prepared For 2005 C-USA Baseball Tourney
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