Tulane wins American Baseball Championship title to claim an NCAA automatic bid

The Tulane Green Wave will play in the NCAA baseball tournament once again.

Jackson Linn hit his second home run of the game with two out in the bottom of the ninth on Sunday, boosting the Green Wave to an 11-10 victory over the Wichita State Shockers for the American Baseball Championship title.

Powered by five home runs in the title game, the Green Wave clinched the postseason crown and an NCAA tournament automatic bid out of the American Athletic Conference for a second straight season.

In a game that went back and forth, third-seeded Tulane built a 3-2 lead after three innings. Undeterred, fourth-seeded Wichita State answered with five runs in the fifth to take charge, 7-3. In the end, though, the Green Wave had more pop in their bats.

They scored three runs in the fifth and fourth more in the sixth, building a 10-7 advantage. The Shockers had one more burst in them, crossing three runs in the seventh to tie the game.

In the top of the eighth, Tulane lefthander Luc Fladda relieved with one out and retired the next two Wichita State batters in order. Fladda would finish the ninth, as well, working around a two-out hit by pitch to shut down the Shockers again.

Wichita State lefty Hunter Holmes, throwing well in the bottom half, struck out Colin Tuft and retired Marcus Cline on a ground ball as the possibility of an extra-innings showdown loomed.

Linn had other ideas. He stepped to the plate, and on a 2-2 count, drilled a pitch that landed beyond the left field fence for the game winner. Flada (4-3) became the winning pitcher, while Holmes (1-4) took the loss.


Wichita State 32-29
Tulane 35-24


The American is expected to send two of its teams into the NCAA tournament. Tulane will get the automatic bid, and East Carolina at 43-15 overall is expected to receive an at large. The 64-team bracket will be announced Monday.

The American’s tournament had a six-day run at the BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater, Fla. UTSA, the tournament’s No. 2 seed, lost its first two games and bowed out last Wednesday.

The Roadrunners won seven of their nine AAC weekend series, including one in New Orleans in which they swept all three games from the Green Wave.

UTSA finished 32-24 overall and 17-10 in conference.

Wichita State, Tulane set to play for the AAC’s postseason title

The Wichita State Shockers will play the Tulane Green Wave today in the title game of the American Baseball Championship.

They’ll throw the first pitch momentarily in a game that will be staged in Clearwater, Fla., at the BayCare Ballpark.

Let’s take a look at the teams vying for the American Athletic Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament:

Wichita State

Overall record: 32-28

In the American championship tournament: 3-1 … Beat UAB 8-2 on May 21 … beat East Carolina 14-4 on May 23 … lost to East Carolina 4-5 on on May 25 … beat East Carolina 12-2 in eight innings (run rule) on May 25.

Last 10 games: 8-2

Record in the AAC regular season: 15-12

In nine games covering the last three AAC weekend series: 7-2

Record versus Tulane: 1-2 (at Wichita, Kan.)

Versus UTSA: 2-1 (at San Antonio)

Top hitters: Camden Johnson, .328, 2 HR, 28 RBI; Derek Williams, 14 HR, 44 RBI.

Today’s starting pitcher: Tommy LaPour, 6-3, 4.12 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, .226 batting average against.


Record overall: 34-24

In the American championship tournament: 3-0 … Beat FAU 14-2 in 7 innings (run rule) on May 21 … beat Charlotte 7-5 on May 23 … beat FAU 13-1 in 7 innings (run rule) on May 25.

Last 10 games: 8-2

Record in the AAC regular season: 15-12

In nine games covering the last three AAC weekend series: 6-3

Record versus Wichita State: 2-1 (at Wichita, Kan.)

Versus UTSA: 0-3 (at New Orleans)

Top hitters: Brady Marget, .335, 9 HR, 53 RBI; Connor Rasmussen, .324, 7 HR, 48 RBI

Today’s starting pitcher: Chandler Welch, 7-3, 4.41 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, .296 batting average against.

American conference expected to send two teams to the NCAA baseball tournament

The American Athletic Conference is expected to send two teams to the NCAA Division I baseball tournament.

The Tulane Green Wave and the Wichita State Shockers will play one game for the title in the American Baseball Championship on Sunday in Clearwater, Fla. The winner will claim the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA’s 64-team field.

The East Carolina Pirates are expected to be an NCAA at-large selection based on their strong showing in the regular season.

Tulane and Wichita State emerged from the semifinals to claim spots in the American title game.

The Green Wave advanced in only one game in the semifinal round, dispatching the Florida Atlantic University Owls, 13-1, in seven innings on the run rule. It took two games for the Shockers to eliminate the Pirates.

East Carolina claimed a 5-4 victory in a wild one, when Dixon Williams stole home with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning to cap a three-run rally. The win forced a second game between the teams, in which the Shockers rebounded to win 12-2 in eight innings on the run rule.

American Baseball Championship semifinals are underway in Clearwater

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The field in the American Baseball Championship has been trimmed to four, with the tournament semifinals set to commence today in Clearwater, Fla.

The Wichita State Shockers will play the top-seeded and regular-season champion East Carolina Pirates at 9 a.m. Central, followed by the Tulane Green Wave and the Florida Atlantic Owls 47 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.

As many as four games could be contested today because the Pirates and the Owls will need to win twice to knock out their opponents.

East Carolina coach Cliff Godwin will be serving the second of a two-game suspension. If the Pirates win, he will be able to come back in the re-match.

The title game in the six-game conference tournament is set for Sunday at 11 a.m. at the BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater.

Today’s matchups

East Carolina (42-14) vs. Wichita State (31-27) – The Shockers enter the semifinals with tournament victories over the UAB Blazers (8-2) and the Pirates (14-4). Wichita State caught fire with a regular-season series win at UTSA has now won nine of its last 10 overall. The Shockers will need to win Saturday and again Sunday in the American title game to secure an NCAA tournament bid. The Pirates, based on their strong regular season, are likely a lock to make the national field. East Carolina coach Cliff Godwin will be serving the second game of a conference-mandated suspension.

Florida Atlantic (28-28) vs. Tulane (33-24) – The Tulane Green Wave look to be in good shape coming into the semis with four straight victories and a day’s rest. On top of that, the Tulane pitching hasn’t had to work quite as hard as some others this week after beating FAU 14-2 in seven innings on the run rule Tuesday. The Green Wave downed Charlotte 7-5 on Thursday. Both the Owls and the Green Wave will need to win the tournament in Clearwater to secure an NCAA automatic bid.


Both once-beaten East Carolina and Florida Atlantic stayed alive with victories on Friday.

Playing without All-American Trey Yesavage (injury) and Dixon Williams (one-game suspension), and also without coach Cliff Godwin (suspension), the Pirates beat Rice 8-7 Friday to stay alive. They opened the tournament by beating Rice, 12-4, on Tuesday and then losing to Wichita State, 14-4, on Thursday. Godwin was suspended for his actions in the 14-4 loss.

Florida Atlantic’s season has also been on the brink all week.

Sixth-seeded FAU took a 14-2 loss to Wichita State on opening day on Tuesday before bouncing back the next day to down the UTSA Roadrunners, 12-5. With new life, the Owls surged into a seven-run lead on the Charlotte 49ers Friday and then held on as Danny Trehey pitched shutout innings in the eighth and ninth to secure a 10-8 victory.

Undefeated Wichita State, Tulane reach semis in American Baseball Championship

The Wichita State Shockers and the Tulane Green Wave have played their way into commanding position to reach the title game in the American Baseball Championship.

In the tournament being staged at Clearwater, Fla., both lead their double-elimination brackets with 2-0 records and are already slotted into the semifinals, which will be held on Saturday.

Matchups in the semifinals will be determined Friday by the outcome in two elimination games.

In one bracket, the Rice Owls play the East Carolina Pirates at noon Central time. In the other, which will start 47 minutes after the conclusion of the first game, the Charlotte 49ers will play the Florida Atlantic Owls.

The losers will be eliminated and the winners will move on to play Saturday. The Rice-East Carolina winner will play Wichita State. The Charlotte-FAU winner will take on Tulane.

A possibility exists that four games could be played in the bracket semifinals. Teams coming out of the losers’ bracket will be eliminated with one loss. But both Wichita State and Tulane would need to be beaten twice.

The championship game has been set for Sunday at 11 a.m. Central.

Thursday’s results

Wichita State beat East Carolina, 14-4
Tulane beat Charlotte, 7-5


The conference announced Friday morning that it has suspended East Carolina coach Cliff Godwin for two games and East Carolina player Dixon Williams for one following a play against Wichita State Thursday.

Godwin was ejected from Thursday’s game and assessed an additional two-game suspension for violating NCAA Rule 2-26-h, which states that “no team personnel may continue to argue or to continue to excessively express themselves with prolonged action or offensive language after an ejection,” according to a news release.

Williams was ejected from Thursday’s game and hit with a one-game suspension for violating NCAA Rule 8-7, which prohibits “unnecessary and violent collisions with the catcher at home plate, and with infielders at all bases.”

Friday’s schedule

Rice vs. East Carolina, noon
Charlotte vs. Florida Atlantic, 47 minutes afterward


Both the UAB Blazers and UTSA Roadrunners have lost twice and have been eliminated.

Wichita State sweeps two from UTSA to win the series

Braylon Owens made his first start of the season and allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings. UTSA played Wichita State in the second game of an American Athletic Conference doubleheader on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at Roadrunner-Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Braylon Owens was masterful Saturday in yielding only one run on three hits in 6 and 1/3 innings against the Wichita State Shockers. Owens didn’t get a decision as the Shockers rallied late for an 8-4 victory to sweep a doubleheader. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Pinch hitter Josh Livingston ripped a grand slam to highlight a seven-run seventh inning as the Wichita State Shockers rallied for an 8-4 victory over UTSA and a sweep of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Roadrunner Field.

After winning 11-2 in the first game, the Shockers fell behind 2-0 early. UTSA, sparked by Mason Lytle, scored one run in the first inning and another in the second to get off to a fast start in front of the home fans.

The game continued to go UTSA’s way with pitcher Braylon Owens putting on perhaps his best performance of the season. Owens blanked the Shockers for the first six innings. In the seventh, he retired the first batter he faced and walked the second, prompting UTSA coach Pat Hallmark to make a change.

Ruger Riojas, however, couldn’t stop the Shockers. He gave up three straight hits, with the Shockers scoring once to pull within 2-1. At that point, Fischer Kingsbery entered in relief. But it didn’t slow down the visiting team.

Mason Lytle leads off the bottom of the first inning with a double. UTSA played Wichita State in the second game of an American Athletic Conference doubleheader on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at Roadrunner-Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Mason Lytle leads off the bottom of the first inning with a double. He later scored the first run of the game. – Photo by Joe Alexander

A sacrifice fly brought in a run to tie it and then Kingsbery issued a walk and hit a batter to bring in another run. With a one-run lead and the bases loaded, the Shockers called on Livingston to pinch hit, and he unleashed a swing that that sent a ball sailing over the right field wall for a 7-2 lead.

Wichita State tacked on another run in the eighth. Meanwhile, the Shockers’ pitching seemed to get stronger as the game went on. Brady Hamilton, Tyler Dobbs and Hunter Holmes and kept the Roadrunners off the scoreboard for six straight innings, from the third through the eighth.

In the ninth, the Roadrunners made it interesting against Nate Adler. Matt King doubled and Alex Olivo hit a two-run homer, slicing it down the line and off the left field foul pole. At that point, Adler retired Diego Diaz on a ground ball and struck out Mark Henning to end it.

Series glance

Friday: UTSA 6, Wichita State 5
Saturday: Wichita State 11, UTSA 2
Saturday: Wichita State 8, UTSA 4


Wichita State 24-26, 10-11
UTSA 27-20, 13-8

Coming up

South Florida at UTSA, next weekend, May 10-12

Game 1 recap

Kam Durnin homered and produced four RBI, and lefthander Caden Favors pitched a complete game Saturday afternoon, allowing the Wichita State Shockers to snap a four-game losing streak with an 11-2 victory over UTSA at Roadrunner Field.

Wichita State pitcher Caden Favors. UTSA lost to Wichita State 11-2 in American Athletic Conference baseball on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Wichita State’s Caden Favors pitched a complete game to beat UTSA 11-2 in the opener of Saturday’s doubleheader at Roadrunner Field.- Photo by Joe Alexander

With the win, coming in the first game of a doubleheader, the Shockers evened a three-game series at one win apiece. The teams were scheduled to play the third game Saturday night.

Durnin drove in a run with a ground ball in the second inning. In the third, he singled and drove in two more, and in the ninth, he drilled a solo homer as the Shockers poured it on with three runs, expanding their lead to nine.

Favors (7-4) allowed only five hits and one earned run to earn the victory. Spotting his fastball and mixing in off-speed stuff, he shut out the Roadrunners from the fourth through the ninth innings.

Ulises Quiroga (6-1) took his first loss of the season. He worked five and 1/3 innings, giving up five runs (four of them earned) on five hits.

The Shockers continued to hit the Roadrunners bullpen, which yielded five runs on 10 hits. For the Roadrunners, the final score ended up being their widest margin of defeat this season.

UTSA entered play Saturday in second place, two games behind East Carolina, in the American Athletic Conference standings.

Ty Tilson. UTSA lost to Wichita State 11-2 in American Athletic Conference baseball on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA third baseman Ty Tilson has his eye on the ball during the opener of a doubleheader against Wichita State. – Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA takes Game 1 of the series, downing Wichita State, 6-5

Daniel Garza. UTSA beat Wichita State 6-5 in American Athletic Conference baseball on Friday, May 3, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA senior righthander Daniel Garza pitched four innings in middle relief, giving up three runs while striking out five. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Relief pitcher Fischer Kingsbery came to the rescue, retiring two straight batters in the the ninth inning with the potential tying run at first base, as UTSA held off the Wichita State Shockers 6-5 Friday night at Roadrunner Field.

The Roadrunners won the opener of a three-game series in the American Athletic Conference despite giving up two solo home runs in the ninth and getting out-hit, 12-7.

James Taussig. UTSA beat Wichita State 6-5 in American Athletic Conference baseball on Friday, May 3, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

James Taussig makes a play in right field on a night when the Roadrunners played error-free baseball – Photo by Joe Alexander

Lane Haworth led off the inning by cranking his second homer of the game, this one off UTSA relief ace Ruger Riojas. One out later, Derek Williams re-directed another pitch from Riojas over the wall to bring the Shockers to within one run.

After Riojas walked Dayvin Johnson, UTSA coach Pat Hallmark made a change. He brought in Kingsbery to end the threat. Kingsbery responded by retiring Mauricio Millan on a fly ball to right. Jaden Gustafson made the last out, bouncing to the second baseman.

With the win, second-place UTSA stayed within two games of the streaking, first-place East Carolina Pirates in the AAC race. Earlier in the evening, the Pirates won 11-1 in seven innings on the run rule over the South Florida Bulls. It was their ninth straight victory.

Meanwhile, on the UTSA campus, both the Roadrunners and the Shockers were locked in a 1-1 tie with one out in the bottom of the sixth when rain forced umpires to stop the game and wave teams off the field. UTSA had the bases loaded at the time. The game was delayed by about a half an hour.

Hector Rodriguez. UTSA beat Wichita State 6-5 in American Athletic Conference baseball on Friday, May 3, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA third baseman Hector Rodriguez contorts his body after fielding a ground ball and fires to first base. – Photo by Joe Alexander

When it started again, the Shockers had changed pitchers, with lefty Hunter Holmes in the game. The Roadrunners responded by going with a pinch-hitter, Tye Odom, who had not played for almost a month nursing an ankle sprain. Odom grounded to the right side for a 2-run single.

The ball high-hopped to the second baseman, who appeared to lose his footing and then did not field it cleanly.

With the Wichita State infielder having trouble picking it up, Odom made it safely to first base while both Alex Olivo and James Taussig scored. Olivo scored easily from third and Taussig, remarkably, came all the way around from second, lifting the Roadrunners into a 3-1 lead.


Wichita State 22-26, 8-11
UTSA 27-18, 13-6

Coming up

Wichita State at UTSA, Saturday, 2 p.m.
Wichita State at UTSA, Sunday, 1 p.m.

JB’s video replay

UTSA starter Zach Royse fans Wichita State’s Derek Williams to complete a 1-2-3 top of the first.

Wichita State freshman Tommy LaPour gets a strikeout at the end of the fourth inning. He had a no hitter and a shutout at the time. LaPour yielded three runs on four hits in 5 and 2/3 innings. He struck out nine.

UTSA’s Hector Rodriguez flares a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring teammate Isaiah Walker from third, to tie the game 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth.

AAC baseball: UTSA set to host Wichita State in a three-game series

With seven College World Series trips in their storied history, the Wichita State Shockers enter tonight’s game with a 22-25 record, including 8-10 in the American Athletic Conference. – Video by Jerry Briggs

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Trailing the first-place East Carolina Pirates by two games, the UTSA Roadrunners will host the Wichita State Shockers this weekend in a three-game series in the American Athletic Conference.

The opener is scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m.


Wichita State 22-25, 8-10
UTSA 26-18, 12-6

Setting the stage

The tradition-rich Shockers, tied for sixth in the standings, come into San Antonio led by first-year coach Brian Green to meet Pat Hallmark’s second-place Roadrunners.

Wichita State’s baseball program has a history dating to 1899. The Shockers’ modern era opened in 1978 under coach Gene Stephenson. Wichita State won the 1989 College World Series title and reached the CWS seven times.

Mason Lytle circles the bases after hitting a fourth-inning grand slam. UTSA beat Texas State 11-9 in non-conference baseball on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Mason Lytle hit a go-ahead grand slam in UTSA’s 9-7 victory over Texas State on Tuesday night. – Photo by Joe Alexander

The Shockers have sent 42 players to the major leagues, including pitcher Darren Dreifort, 1990s-era World Series hero Joe Carter and Alec Bohm, the current starting third baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Bohm, 27, is second in the major leagues with a .362 batting average.

In a rebuilding mode, Wichita State hasn’t reached the NCAA tournament since 2013. The Shockers started this season fast, forging a 19-10 record through the first few days of April. Moreover, the Shockers went 5-1 in their first two weekends in conference.

Since then, they have fallen on hard times, going 3-15 overall and 3-9 in the AAC.

Last weekend in a conference series, the Shockers dropped two of three at home to Tulane. Facing a couple of tough mid-week road games, they lost at Oklahoma State Tuesday and at Kansas on Wednesday.

Wichita State’s 22-25 overall record may be deceiving considering its schedule to date has included 16 non-conference games against Power 5 competition.

The Shockers are 3-13 in those games, including 2-5 at home, 0-6 on the road and 1-2 at neutral sites.

On Feb. 18, Wichita State beat the 18th-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes in Jacksonville, Fla. They also defeated Nebraska 9-3 on March 13 and edged Kansas 7-6 on April 3, both at home.

By contrast, UTSA has played six non-conference games against the Power 5, winning four of them and losing two. On the NCAA’s ratings percentage index computer, the Roadrunners are 95th and the Shockers 130th through Wednesday night.

With three weeks left in the regular season, both are facing situations where they’ll likely need to win in the AAC’s postseason to qualify for the 64-team NCAA tournament.

Coming up

AAC series – Wichita State at UTSA
Friday – 6 p.m.
Saturday – 2 p.m.
Sunday – 1 p.m.

AAC standings

East Carolina 14-4, 35-8
UTSA 12-6, 26-18
Tulane 9-9, 25-20
FAU 9-9, 22-20
Charlotte 9-9, 20-25
South Florida 8-10, 22-22
Wichita State 8-10, 22-25
Rice 8-10, 18-26
UAB 7-11, 20-23
Memphis 6-12, 19-26

This weekend: Rice at Charlotte; Wichita State at UTSA; UAB at FAU; South Florida at East Carolina; Memphis at Tulane.

Team leaders

Wichita State

Batting average: Derek Williams .338, Jordan Rogers .309, Camden Johnson .306.
Home runs: Williams 13, Rogers 8, Dayvin Johnson 6, Seth Stroh 6.
RBIs: Williams 36, Stroh 34, Rogers 30, Johnson 30.
Pitching: Caden Favors (6-4, 3.79 ERA), Tyler Dobbs (5-4, 4.47), Tommy LaPour (3-3, 4.86), Nate Adler (1-1, 2.85, 5 saves)


Batting average: Mason Lytle .386, Isaiah Walker .344, Tye Odom .342, Caleb Hill .341, Matt King .335, Alex Olivo .331.
Home runs: Lytle 10, Hill 9, James Taussig 6.
RBIs: Lytle 41, King 36, Hill 35, Taussig 30.
Pitching: Ruger Riojas (7-2, 2.91 ERA, 6 saves), Fischer Kingsbery (1-1, 1.61, 5 saves), Braylon Owens (4-1, 6.75), Daniel Garza (3-1, 5.48), Ulises Quiroga (6-0, 3.72), Robert Orloski (3-4, 6.10).

AAC baseball: Surging East Carolina takes a half-game lead on UTSA

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The East Carolina Pirates swept a doubleheader on Saturday and moved into a half-game lead in the American Athletic Conference baseball race over the UTSA Roadrunners.

The ninth-ranked Pirates won 11-7 and 11-4 on their home field to sweep a three-game series from the Wichita State Shockers.

With UTSA preparing to host the UAB Blazers in a series finale in San Antonio on Sunday, here are the updated AAC standings:

American Athletic Conference
Baseball standings

East Carolina 11-4, 31-8
UTSA 10-4, 23-16
Charlotte 8-7, 19-21
Florida Atlantic 7-7, 20-16
South Florida 7-7, 21-18
Wichita State 7-8, 21-20
Tulane 6-8, 21-18
Memphis 6-9, 18-22
UAB 5-9, 17-20
Rice 5-9, 14-25

Women’s basketball: UTSA wins on the road at Wichita State

The UTSA women’s basketball team built a 15-point lead in the third quarter and then watched as it dwindled to five down the stretch Saturday afternoon in Wichita, Kan. In the end, the Roadrunners kept their poise and came away with their 15th win of the season, a 68-61 victory in the American Athletic Conference over the Wichita State Shockers at Koch Arena.


UTSA 15-13, 9-8
Wichita State 8-21, 4-13

Coming up

Regular-season finale: Rice at UTSA, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.
AAC women’s basketball tournament, March 9-13, at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth