Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 24, 2005

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f0fs24 cf0 Green Wave shoot for Conference USA Title

NEW ORLEANS, La. – Already assured of at least a share of the Conference USA Crown, the top-ranked Tulane University baseball team closes out the regular season with a three-game slate against TCU beginning Thursday, May 19, at 6:30 p.m. at Turchin Stadium.

While the two teams have not faced each other since the C-USA opening weekend of the 2003 season, the Green Wave will face a familiar foe as former Tulane associate head coach Jim Schlossnagle is in his second season as head coach of the Horned Frogs. Tulane sports the nation’d5s best overall record at 45-8, and at 22-5 in league play, needs just one win vs. TCU to clinch sole possession of the conference crown and claim the No. 1 seed in next week’d5s C-USA Tournament in Hattiesburg, Miss.

All three games will be broadcast live on the radio on WRBH 88.3 FM and Saturday’d5s contest will be simulcast on WTIX AM 690. In addition, Thursday’d5s ballgame will be televised live throughout the state on Cox Sports Television (local channel 37) and live stats for all three affairs are available on the internet via Game Tracker at www.tulanegreenwave.com.

As a team, the Green Wave are hitting .320 with a .505 slugging percentage courtesy of 126 doubles, eight triples and 65 home runs. Senior shortstop Tommy Manzella leads the team with a .372 batting average, and freshman third baseman Brad Emaus is next with a .347 clip. Junior utility athlete Micah Owings paces Tulane with 15 home runs, while Manzella leads the club with 54 RBI and 18 stolen bases.From the mound, the Green Wave have a 3.87 ERA and have held opponents to a .253 batting average.

As a staff, Tulane hurlers have combined for 464 strikeouts and just 145 walks in 470.1 innings. Junior southpaw Brian Bogusevic leads the team with a 2.60 ERA and 97.0 innings pitched, while Owings paces the club with 99 strikeouts. Sean Morgan and Daniel Latham have been the team’d5s best bullpen arms as Morgan has six wins and five saves, while Latham has eight saves and a win in 24 appearances.

TCU, meanwhile, comes into the matchup 36-16 on the year, 19-8 in Conference USA and needing a sweep of the Green Wave to claim its first Conference USA Championship.

The Horned Frogs are hitting .315 as a team with a .504 slugging percentage on the strength of 125 doubles, 14 triples and 68 home runs. Shelby Ford paces the squad with a .383 batting average, followed by Matt McGuirk and Chad Huffman with marks of .345 and .343, respectively. Andrew Walker leads the team with 11 home runs, while Huffman paces the club with 43 RBI.

As a staff, TCU has a 4.04 ERA and has limited opponents to a .253 batting average. Horned Frog hurlers have combined for 471 strikeouts and 221 walks in 463.2 innings of work. Lance Broadway paces the Horned Frogs with an NCAA-leading 12 wins to go along with a 1.94 ERA, 125 strikeouts and 93.0 innings pitched. Shawn Furguson paces the club with 24 appearances and has three of the team’d5s six saves in 2005.

This weekend’d5s games mark the ninth, 10th and 11th times the Green Wave and Horned Frogs meet on the diamond, and the series is tied at 4-all. Under 12th year head coach Rick Jones, Tulane is 4-2 vs. TCU, with a three-game sweep in 2002 and a 2-1 series loss in 2003.