South Alabama snaps NCAA tourney losing streak
OXFORD, Miss. -- David Freese homered, P.J. Walters threw a four-hitter and South Alabama snapped a four-game NCAA tournament losing streak by beating Tulane 7-1 on Friday in the Oxford Regional.
The third-seeded Jaguars (39-19) advance to play the Bethune-Cookman-Mississippi winner at 5 p.m. Saturday after No. 2 seed Tulane (41-20) plays the loser in an elimination game.
South Alabama is making its 24th tournament appearance and won its first postseason game since 2003, when the Jaguars beat Florida State before losing two straight to the Seminoles.
South Alabama didn't make the field in 2004 and went 0-2 last season with losses to Auburn and Army.
The Jaguars never trailed in this one, and Freese gave the Jaguars a 5-1 lead in the sixth when he followed Patrick Weaver's one-out single by driving Sean Morgan's 2-2 pitch over the fence in left-center field for his team-leading 11th homer.
David Doss singled home two runs in the ninth for the final margin.
Walters (11-3) set the school record for career innings pitched with 413, surpassing the mark of 409 1/3 set in 1998 by Jeff Norton, and beat the Green Wave for the second time this year.
He had six strikeouts and three walks in his fifth complete game of the season and second against Tulane. In March, Walters struck out seven in an 8-4 victory over the Green Wave.
Morgan (8-6) allowed five runs on nine hits in seven innings with four strikeouts and three walks.
South Alabama took a 1-0 lead in the third when Chris Davis led off with an infield single, was sacrificed to second, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch by Morgan.
The Jaguars added two more runs in the fifth, when Weaver singled and Morgan forced in another by hitting Jeff Cunningham with the bases loaded.
Matt Riser's RBI groundout in the fifth scored Tim Guidry and pulled Tulane to 3-1.
Tulane, which reached the College World Series last year, lost for the first time in four postseason games in Oxford. The Green Wave went 3-0 in the Oxford Regional two years ago and advanced to the super regionals.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press