Ambler, PA. (4/9/14) – After a rain out cancelled their bout against Monmouth Tuesday, the Owls were back in action Wednesday. The Mountain Hawks of Lehigh rolled into Ambler and escaped with a 3-2 win.
Temple opened strong against Lehigh starter Matt Kozemchak. He plunked 2B Reyn Sugai in the bottom half of the first and gave up a single to DH Daniel Dragos to put two men on. After a Daniel Peterson sac fly, 1B Robert Amaro doubled home Sugai giving the Owls the advantage early. A wild pitch by Kozemchak brought in Dragos and the Mountain Hawks were put in a two run hole.
An interesting storyline throughout the game was Lehigh not putting runners on base. With SP Connor Staskey on the mound, they had no hits through four. In the bottom half of the fourth, Amaro walked to lead off the inning and CF Jimmie Kerrigan followed with a single but the Owls couldn’t bring them home going 1 2 3 following the two base runners.
RP Simon Mathews replaced Staskey in the fifth and put up his best outing of the season. Despite running into trouble in the sixth, he got out of a two error jam to put the two run lead on lock-down.
Lehigh would cut the lead to one on a sac fly by LF Jacen Nalesnik but the Owls got out of the inning without further damage. Temple would falter with the bases loaded in the bottom half of the inning and the wasted opportunity would prove to be detrimental.
CP Zach Batchelor usually is lights out in the ninth but Lehigh gave the hurler problems. After striking out the first Lehigh hitter, a Temple error put the tying run on. Back to back singles by Patrick Donnely and Tyler Brong tied the game at two as Lehigh stormed back. He got the final two hitters out but the damage was done as Temple failed to walk off in the ninth with two men in scoring position. To extras we go.
In the top of the 10th, Zach White came in for Batchelor but his entry was rough. He hit the first batter of the frame but got the next two to ground out despite moving the runner to third. Impact moment with two down and a man on third. DH Patrick Walshe stepped up and hit a ball to first which was booted by Amaro as the go ahead run scored.
Brandon Kulp, the seventh pitcher for the Mountain Hawks, shut the Owls down to end the contest with Lehigh taking it 3-2. An emotional game for both teams, the errors did the Owls in in the end. RP Nick Cassell (4-2) picked up the win pitching in the ninth and White (0-3) is charged with the loss despite the dubious defensive performance.
The Owls (9-16, 4-5) head to Camden to take on the USF Bulls in a pivotal AAC weekend series.
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