Green Wave Baseball Tournament Notes

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

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.

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). While it is likely that C-USA will send several teams to the NCAA postseason, the tournament will once again determine which team receives the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals. Tulane is 15-6 against the tournament field, including an 8-1 record against teams in its bracket. The Green Wave swept the regular-season seris vs. fourth-seeded East Carolina and eighthseeded UAB, and won the series (2-1) vs. No. 5 seed Houston. 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. In addition, Tulane has 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.

With a 5-1 win over Conference USA foe TCU in Saturday's regular-season finale, Tulane set a school record for wins in a regular season with 47.

The Green Wave's 47-9 record eclipses the former regular-season wins record of 46-9 set in 2001 when the Green Wave went on to win C-USA regular-season and tournament titles, swept the field at the NCAA New Orleans Regional, defeated arch-rival LSU in the Super Regionals two games to one, and advanced to the College World Series for the first time in school history. In addition, Tulane's 24-6 C-USA record is a new school record, eclipsing the former mark of 21- 6 set in 2001. This year's C-USA record is one win away from the league record of 25-5 set by East Carolina last season.

On the strength of a 2-1 Conference USA series win over league runner-up TCU, the Tulane University baseball team held steady atop the Collegiate Baseball, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Sports Weekly/ESPN Top 25 Coaches Polls.

The Green Wave also remain No. 2 in the most recent Baseball America standings. The current standings are the same as they were last week, and with the trio of No. 1 rankings , Tulane has now held the top spot in all four national polls, including the preseason No. 1 ranking by Baseball America.

Tulane is one of three C-USA teams to hold national ranking as TCU is 27th in the most recent Collegiate Baseball poll, No. 28 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll and is receiving votes in the latest Sports Weekly/ESPN Coaches Top 25. In addition, Southern Miss is No. 29 in the most recent NCBWA standings, and like the Horned Frogs, is receiving votes in the Sports Weekly/ESPN Coaches Top 25.

While Tulane may be the No. 1 team in the land according to Collegiate Baseball, the Green Wave have faced their fair share of ranked oppoenents during the 2005 regular season. Tulane swept a three-game weekend series over then No. 11 Arizona State back on Feb. 18-20, won one of three games against then-No. 3 Cal State Fullerton, swept then-No. 25 East Carolina on March 18-20, took two of three from then No. 33 Southern Miss on April 22-24 and took two of three from then-No. 26 TCU last weekend at Turchin Stadium.

In addition, the Green Wave took a pair of games from arch-rival LSU, downing the Tigers 6-2 when they were No. 5 on March 8 in Baton Rouge, and claiming an 11-8 victory on April 19 at Zephyr Field when the Bayou Bengals came in ranked No. 12.

All told, Tulane is 13-4 against ranked teams in 2005, and may have the chance to take on another ranked team if the Green Wave advance to the Confernece USA Championship game where they could possibly to take on either No. 27 TCU or No. 28 Southern Miss for the tournament title.

For the 10th time in as many years, Tulane is once again participating in the Conference USA Tournament. The Green Wave are one of just three teams to accomplish that feat, joining Southern Miss and Louisville.

USF had been in the first eight championships, and needed just one win in the 2004 season's final weekend vs. Louisville to make it nine straight. Instead, the Cardinals won the first two games and erased a 7-1 deficit after eight with eight runs in the top of the ninth to make the tournament.

The Green Wave have won four of the previous nine tournaments, and have advanced to the championship game five times. In addition, Tulane leads the 13 teams that have participated in the C-USA Tourney with 25 all-tournament players (Houston is next with 18) and had four MVPs.

While Tulane has put another quality product on the diamond for the 2005 season, the Green Wave's effort has not gone unnoticed as the overall crowd of 118,932 and average of 3,604 fans per 33 home dates are both Tulane regular-season records.

In 2005, Tulane fans set six of the Top 10 single-game attendance records at Turchin, and saw crowds of 5,431 (vs. UNO), 7,435 (vs. Arizona State), 9,385 (vs. Cal State Fullerton) and 12,069 (vs. LSU) rattle the turnstiles at Zephyr Field for the Green Wave's games at the Shrine on Airline. The crowd for the LSU game was a Zephyr Field record.

The all-time attendance record was set back in 2001 when 127,670 fans were on hand during 48 home dates, but that season only the Green Wave only averaged 2,659 fans per game. While the 2005 Major League Draft is not for another couple of weeks, speculation abounds as to how many Tulane players will be drafted this season.

Recently, Baseball America ranked the Top 200 draft prospects, and Tulane had a trio of student-athletes represented. Junior utility athlete Micah Owings was the highest at No. 19, followed by fellow junior utility athlete Micah Owings at No. 142 and senior shortstop Tommy Manzella at No. 172. The highest ranked player with Green Wave ties, however, is actually signee Jay Bruce, who ranks 12th in the Baseball America rankings.

In a mock draft, Bruce was projected to go to the Baltimore Orioles with the 13th overall pick, while Bogusevic was slated to be selected by the San Diego Padres with the 18th overall pick. Owings, meanwhile, is projected as a sandwich pick or some time in the second round, and Manzella is expected to go in the fifth.

As the 2005 season begins to wind down, rumors abound about the Green Wave's postseason destination. Three national publications have forecast the NCAA Regionals - Baseball America, SEBaseball.com and RosenblattReport.com - and all three have the Green Wave hosting. SEBaseball.com (as of May 23) has the Green Wave as the No. 1 national seed and playing host to second-seeded UL-Lafayette, third-seeded Auburn and No. 4 seed Southern. The on-line publication has the New Orleans Regional matched up with the Charleston Regional, which has host College of Charleston battling South Carolina, East Carolina and Michigan.

RosenblattReport.com (released May 19) also has Tulane as the No. 1 national seed, and hosting No. 2 South Carolina, No. 3 Virginia and No. 4 Sienna. The web-based journal has the New Orleans Regional paired with the Tuscaloosa Regional, which is slated to feature top-seeded Louisiana- Lafayette, host Alabama, East Carolina and Quinnipiac.

Baseball America, meanwhile, has released just one regional projection this season and it came during its midseason report in April. The magazine which had Tulane on the cover of its college preview edition has the Green Wave as the No. 1 seed with Mississippi State, Rutgers and Army rounding out the field.

In the seniors category, catcher Greg Dini is rated No. 15, followed by shortstop Tommy Manzella one notch back. Utility athlete Brian Bogusevic stands as the 14th best junior, while fellow twoway standout Micah Owings ranks 34th.

First baseman Mark Hamilton is the only sophomore to earn a spot in the Fab 50, coming in at No. 29, but Tulane makes up for that with three rookies on the freshman list. Outfielder Warren McFadden paces all Green Wave players with a No. 7 ranking, followed by pitcher/infielder Sean Morgan at No. 8 and infielder Brad Emaus at No. 28.

PROBABLE STARTERS

P Name B/T BA HR RBI Player Notes

C Greg Dini R/R .293 5 38 2nd-Team All-Conference USA selection
or Grayden Griener R/R .000 0 0 Third member of his family to play at TU

1B Micah Owings R/R .328 15 50 Conference USA Player of the Year
or Scott Madden R/R .347 4 42 Lone holdover from the 2001 CWS team

2B Joe Holland R/R .287 5 28 One of five seniors on 2005 roster
or Cat Everett S/R .241 0 4 Played in 34 games, including 12 starts

3B Brad Emaus R/R .344 12 47 Conference USA Freshman of the Year

SS Tommy Manzella R/R .368 8 55 1st-Team All-Confernece USA selection

LF Matt Barket R/R .294 4 41 Team captain fourth on team in RBI
or Mark Hamilton L/L .274 6 28 Big lefty has six bombs in 2005

CF Nathan Southard R/R .338 7 41 1st Team All-Conference USA selection

RF Brian Bogusevic L/L .340 0 20 Semifinalist for several national awards
or Matt Barket R/R .294 4 41 Will likely play right when Bogusevic pitches

DH Scott Madden R/R .347 4 42 Has seen time at first, catcher and DH
or Micah Owings R/R .328 15 50 Will hit for himself when pitching
or Brian Bogusevic L/L .340 0 20 Will hit for himself when pitching


Tulane Insider Top Stories