Memphis, Tenn. (3/21/13) – The blessing of college baseball is upsets occur much more frequently than in basketball and football. In their final year of competition, Temple needed to start off conference play with an upset and did just that beating the Memphis Tigers 3-1 Friday.
Memphis started the season 12-1 but 2-5 in their last seven. The Owls took advantage of their opposition’s slide. Both starters were sharp through four as Matt Hockenberry and lefty Caleb Wallingford let up a combined two hits. 2B Reyn Sugai put an end to Wallingford’s perfect game in the fourth leading off with a single and LF Daniel Dragos followd with one of his own. With runners on first and third and one out, Temple’s marquee hitter Robert Amaro knocked in Sugai with a fly out.
With a one run lead, Hockenberry got out of a jam in the fifth and carried his stellar performance to the eighth. In the top of the inning, Memphis committed an error to tack on a Temple insurance run as the lead jumped to two. 2B Zach Willis knocked in the first run of the game for the Tigers with a RBI single in the eighth. RP Tim McCarthy came in for the Temple starter and got the final hitter out via fly out to end the inning.
With a runner on third and two outs in the ninth Temple went with seldom used Texas Williams as a pinch hitter. The sophomore was money at the plate knocking a single to third to drive in the third run.
The Owls called in RP Zach Batchelor to pitch the ninth. Memphis had no answer for the shutdown reliever as they went 0-3 to finish off the game. Hockenberry (3-0) picked up the victory going 7.1 impressive innings of one run ball and Wallingford (3-1) did all he could going 7.2 innings letting up two runs.
The Owls (6-9, 1-0) are set to play the Tigers (14-7, 0-1) twice more throughout the weekend in Memphis.