Philadelphia, Pa (3/8/14) – Temple baseball won their second game in a row Saturday knocking off Big 5 foe Villanova 7-3 at Saint Joseph’s University. The Temple-Nova rivalry doesn’t just end in basketball season; both schools have serious beef with each other.
The Owls went with starter Preston Hill in a must-win contest and the senior delivered. We’ll get to him in a bit. Top of the first, Temple’s Reyn Sugai leads off getting hit by starter Max Almonte to get the lead man on to start the game. Two batters later, 3B Daniel Peterson, who was five for his last 11 coming into the game, shoots a double as Sugai moves to third on the hit. Cleanup hitter Robert Amaro gets home Sugai with a RBI groundout to put the Owls up one in the first.
Hill was shaky coming in with a 7.00 plus ERA but got out of a jam early as he held the runner at second with one out to hold the lead in the first.
CF Jimmy Kerrigan, like Sugai, started off the second inning by reaching first with a single. After a groundout moved him over, Kerrigan makes the bold move to steal third and it pays off for the sophomore. RF David Hall would knock him in with one out with a RBI single as the Owls with the uncommon advantage early.
After Hill got the first two Nova hitters out, he ended up plunking the preceding two. A single loaded up the bases and leadoff man Adam Goss made Hill pay with a RBI single. Hill wouldn’t let it faze him as he got the final hitter to pop up and end the inning. The Owls would add to their slim lead with a Micheal D’Agostino RBI single with two outs making the score 3-1.
Nova, coming in at 3-9 overall, couldn’t afford another blemish on their disappointing record as they added runs in the fourth and sixth to tie the game up at three. Preston Hill was pulled after the fifth letting up four hits and only one earned run. RHP Connor Stasky came into the sixth and let up the RBI single to SS Eric Lowe while Hill was taken out after hurling his best performance of the year.
The offense went nuts late in the game, like they did in their game against Niagara, as Peterson led the eighth inning rally with a RBI double and was followed up by a Michael D’Acunti sac fly and a David Hall two RBI single. In what was a problem for Temple early in the season, the offense has been a pleasant surprise bombarding teams late.
RHP Zach Batchelor, Temple’s best arm to date, pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth and Ryan Kuehn followed his lead closing out the eighth. A 7-3 victory for the Owls as Zach Batchelor (1-0) continues his scoreless streak of eight innings. Temple hit over .333 for the game. Nova was led by 1B Max Beermann who went 3-4 at the plate.
The Owls (3-7) look to knock down another Big 5 rival as they take on host Saint Joseph’s Sunday at 2:45 PM.