Green Wave Rolls Past ECU In C-USA Tourney, 16-3

Owings goes 3-for-4 with a double, a homer and four RBI and all nine starters tally at least one hit as the top-ranked Tulane University baseball team hammered fourth-seeded East Carolina, 16-3, in a 10-run-rule shortened seven-inning game Thursday afternoon

HATTIESBURG, Miss.–Junior first baseman Micah Owings went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and four RBI, and the Green Wave got another solid start from junior southpaw Brian Bogusevic as the top-ranked Tulane University baseball team hammered fourth-seeded East Carolina, 16-3, in a 10-run-rule shortened seven-inning game Thursday afternoon in the second round of the 2005 Conference USA Tournament at Pete Taylor Park.

All nine of the Green Wave starters had at least one hit, including three-run homers by Owings and sophomore left fielder Mark Hamilton, and a solo bomb off the bat of senior right fielder Matt Barket. Owings led the team with three hits while Hamilton, junior centerfielder Nathan Southard, senior shortstop Tommy Manzella and senior catcher Greg Dini had two hits apiece.

Bogusevic (12-1), meanwhile, gave up three runs (two earned) on 10 hits while striking out six and walking none in a 6.0-inning start. Freshman Sean Morgan came on in relief for the seventh, and gave up just one hit to nail down the Tulane victory.

"Today, we were very good offensively," Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. "We had so many great swings, and we squared so many balls up, it put pressure on (East Carolina). That happens every once in a while. We got to their bullpen and took advantage. That's why you play them, because you don't know what's going to happen. I wish we could be like that offensively every day. It's fun when you get one of those games."

With the win, Tulane improves to 49-9 on the year and advances to the semifinals on Saturday at 9 a.m. Saturday's opponent is yet to be determined. The Green Wave need one win in two tries on Saturday to advance to the championship game on Sunday at 1 p.m., and that contest will be televised live on the C-USA Television Network (New Orleans Cox Cable channel 37).The Pirates, meanwhile, fall to 35-23 overall and will take on Houston in an elimination game Friday at 3 p.m.

After Bogusevic set East Carolina down in order to start the game, Southard got the Green Wave offense going with a leadoff single up the middle to lead off the home half of the first. Pirates' starter Mike Fly got freshman third baseman Brad Emaus to ground out to first, but the next three hitters posted consecutive singles, including RBI knocks by Manzella and Dini. One out later, Hamilton ripped an opposite-field three-run bomb to left to stake the Green Wave to a 5-0 advantage.

The Pirates scratched across a run in the second when catcher Adam Witter singled, advanced to third on a base hit by designated hitter Mike Grace and scored on an RBI single by right fielder Harrison Eldridge. Tulane answered with another five spot in the second, highlighted by back-to-back RBI-doubles by Owings and Dini.

East Carolina got an unearned run in the third and had the bases loaded with nobody out, but Bogusevic got a fly ball to shallow left and back-to-back strikeouts to get out of the frame without any more damage done.

In the bottom of the frame, Emaus sparked a one-out rally with a double to right, Manzella walked, and Owings connected on a 1-0 offering from Pirates' reliever Jason Neitz for a three-run homer to straight-away center to give Tulane a comfortable 13-2 lead.

Both teams went scoreless in the fourth before Tulane added a pair in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Dini and pinch-hit RBI-single by redshirt-freshman Will Rice. The Pirates plated a run in the sixth courtesy of an RBI-single by outfielder Brian Cavanaugh and Barket closed out the scoring with a leadoff homer in the sixth.

NOTES: Thursday game marked the 10th time in 2005 that all nine position starters posted at least one hit each…the Green Wave are 10-0 in those games…Tulane has won its first two C-USA Tournament games for the fifth time in the 10-year history of the event…Owings' three-run homer in the third was his 16th of the year, which is a career high and brings his career total to 46…the win was Bogusevic's 12th of the year, which tied for sixth in Tulane single season history…he now has 24 career victories, which ties for eighth in Tulane history…with seven strikeouts on Thursday, Tulane has 508 Ks in 2005 and that ranks fourth in school history.


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