No. 1 Tulane To Open Regional Play With Southern

The top-ranked Tulane University baseball teams opens play in the 2005 NCAA New Orleans Regional on Friday at 2:30 p.m. when the Green Wave take on fourth-seeded Southern at Turchin Stadium

NEW ORLEANS, La.–The top-ranked Tulane University baseball teams opens play in the 2005 NCAA New Orleans Regional on Friday at 2:30 p.m. when the Green Wave take on fourth-seeded Southern at Turchin Stadium.

The game marks the third time in the last five years the Green Wave will play the Jaguars in NCAA postseason action, and won the first two games by a combined score of 32-11. Tulane will send redshirt-sophomore Brandon Gomes (7-2, 4.23 ERA, 72 K) to the mound. Southern's starter, meanwhile, has not yet been determined.

Friday's game, and the rest of the Green Wave's postseason matchups will be broadcast live on the radio on WRBH 88.3 FM and the games are also available through streaming internet broadcast free of charge on Friday and Sunday's games (provided the Green Wave advance) will also be simulcast on WTIX AM 690. In addition, every game of the 2005 NCAA New Orleans Regional will be televised live on WNOL, WB38, via Jumbo Sports Television. Larry Matson will call the action live from Turchin Stadium while Ronnie Rantz will handle color commentary.

Tulane enters the regional play 50-9 on the year, including the Conference USA regular-season championship via a 24-6 league record, and a share of the 2005 C-USA Tournament title after going 3-0 in tourney play only to see the championship game vs. TCU cancelled due to inclement weather that led to unplayable field conditions.

As a team, the Green Wave are hitting .317 with a .502 slugging percentage courtesy of 137 doubles, eight triples and 74 home runs. Senior shortstop Tommy Manzella leads the team with a .359 batting average, and senior first baseman/catcher Scott Madden is next with a .354 clip. Junior utility athlete Micah Owings paces Tulane with 16 home runs, while Manzella leads the club with 57 RBI and 19 stolen bases.

From the mound, the Green Wave have a 3.72 ERA and have held opponents to a .252 batting average. As a staff, Tulane hurlers have combined for 519 strikeouts and just 156 walks in 522.1 innings. Junior southpaw Brian Bogusevic leads the team with a 2.57 ERA and 112.0 innings pitched, while Owings pace the club with 117 strikeouts. Sean Morgan and Daniel Latham have been the team's best bullpen arms as Morgan has six wins and five saves, while Latham has nine saves and a win in 25 appearances.

Southern, meanwhile, advanced to NCAA Regional play after going 29-16 and winning the Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament with a 6-5, 15-inning victory over Prairie View A&M in the league championship game.

The Jaguars are hitting .319 as a team with a .480 slugging percentage on the strength of 82 doubles, 11 triples and 48 home runs. Gerard Gause paces the squad with a .397 batting average, followed by Kevin Nelson and Mario Spann with marks of .381 and .341, respectively. Darren Clark paces the club with 11 home runs while Nelson leads the way with 46 RBI.

As a staff, Southern has a 4.77 ERA and has held opponents to a .265 batting average. Jaguar hurlers have combined for 339 strikeouts and 176 walks in 364.1 frames. Damien Givens paces Southern with a 3.94 ERA, seven wins, 58 strikeouts and 59.1 innings of work. Jeffrey McCollum has been the Jaguars best reliever, appearing in a team-best 17 games, and has two of Southern's five saves in 2005.

Tulane is hosting an NCAA Regional for the second time in school history, and claimed the top seed via the No. 1 National Seed. The Green Wave are joined in the Regional by No. 2 seed Alabama, No. 3 seed Louisiana-Lafayette and fourth-seeded Southern.

The winner of the double-elimination tournament will advance to take on the winner of the Baton Rouge Regional (LSU, Rice, Northwestern State and Marist) in the Super Regional, and the winner of that three-game series will advance to participate in the 2005 College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

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