OMAHA, Neb.–Junior utility athletes Micah Owings and Brian Bogusevic tallied two hits each, and the Green Wave pitching staff set the single-season strikeout record, but it was not enough as the Tulane University baseball team dropped a 5-0 decision to Texas in game two of the 2005 College World Series Monday evening at Rosenblatt Stadium.
Texas starter Kyle McCulloch tossed seven scoreless frames of six-hit baseball, and J. Brent Cox gave up just a single over the final two frames to keep the Longhorns in the winner’s bracket. Texas’ 4-5-6 hitters combined to go 7-for-12 with two RBI and a pair of runs scored to lead a 12-hit attack.
“We just got outplayed,” Tulane head coach Rick Jones said. “(Texas) played a complete game. They pitched very well and took advantage of any breakdown we had. They did a good job with the top of our lineup, which has been a strength of ours this postseason.
“When you get to the College World Series you’re going to see real good pitching. We’d like to score more but you’ve got to give credit to (McCulloch). I don’t think our approach at the plate was bad, they just pitched very well. I have no doubt we’ll be better. This club has won too many ballgames to not rebound when we do have a slip up.”
With the loss, Tulane falls to 56-11 on the year and will take on Baylor in an elimination game on Tuesday, June 21, at 6 p.m. Tulane will send junior southpaw J.R. Crowel (10-1, 5.00 ERA) to the mound, where he will be matched up with Baylor left-hander Cory VanAllen (8-4, 3.86 ERA). Texas, meanwhile, improves to 53-16 overall and will take on the winner of the Green Wave/Bears contest on Wednesday with first pitch slated for 6 p.m.
Tulane’s quest for a national championship got a little harder with the loss as the Green Wave will now have to win three games in three days to advance to the championship series. Tulane is not without the arms to do so, however, as the Green Wave have used just four pitchers so far in the CWS, and the bullpen has only tossed three innings – two by sophomore Daniel Latham and one by rookie Sean Morgan.
Bogusevic – who started the game and went seven strong for Tulane – and Morgan combined for eight strikeouts on the day to bring the Green Wave’s season strikeout total to 571. The K mark breaks the former single-season strikeout record of 569 set by the 1996 staff.
The Green Wave got off to an inauspicious start as Tulane stranded a pair of runners in scoring position in the top of the first, and allowed the leadoff runner in the home half of the frame to reach via error. The Longhorns made the free pass hurt as Texas got a sacrifice bunt by centerfielder Drew Stubbs to move Nick Peoples into scoring position, while shortstop Seth Johnson, designated hitter Will Crouch, left fielder Carson Kainer and catcher Taylor Teagarden posted consecutive singles to claim a 2-0 lead.
Tulane put another pair on base in the second courtesy of two-out walks by senior right fielder Matt Barket and senior second baseman Joe Holland, but McColloch was able to get out of the inning with a strikeout to strand the pair at second and first, respectively.
Bogusevic settled down to keep Texas off the scoreboard over the next three innings, but in the fifth, Kainer and Teagarden posted singles, and third baseman David Maroul delivered a two-out, two-RBI double to make it a 4-0 ballgame. One inning later, the Longhorns used small ball to plate another run as Peoples singled to lead off the frame, Stubbs sacrificed him to second and Crouch delivered a two-out RBI single to account for the final score.
The Green Wave had chances to get on the board late as Holland hit a leadoff single in the seventh, but a sinking fly ball was shoe-topped by Stubbs in center to close out the frame, and Peoples robbed Owings in the eighth when the Green Wave first baseman hit a rope off to the wall on a 2-0 offering from Cox only to have the Texas right fielder glove it with a leaping effort.
From there, Cox struck out the next two men he faced and pitched his way around a leadoff single by Bogusevic in the ninth to seal the shutout.
The shutout loss was the third of the year for the Green Wave, but history shows Tulane has bounced back well after not scoring. After getting blanked by Southern Miss on April 24 in Hattiesburg, Miss., the Green Wave posted a 3-0, no-hit victory over Nicholls State on April 26 at Turchin Stadium, and following a 6-0 loss to TCU in the second-to-last game of the regular season, the Green Wave bounced back with a 5-1 victory over the Horned Frogs on May 21.