Camden, NJ (4/4/14) – The baseball team returned home after their week long absence from the American Athletic Conference to pick up a 7-5 win over the Cincinnati Bearcats Friday. While at the top of the AAC in many other sports, Cincinnati isn’t having the best of years on the diamond
After both 1 2 3 innings from each team’s starters in the first, catcher Woody Wallace singled with two outs off Temple starter Matt Hockenberry. In a rare sight the backstop took off for second and got their with a steal. The gamble paid off as DH R.J. Thompson singled him home as the Bearcats took the 1-0 lead.
Temple would respond in the bottom of the inning however as LF Frank D’Agostino drove home 1B Robert Amaro with an RBI single of his own with two outs tying up the game. Errors were a plenty in the contest, nine total, and the Owls took advantage of the poor fielding in the third scoring their second run. Thompson would do more damage later as he tied the game at two with an RBI double in the fourth. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the inning, 2B Reyn Sugai hit a sac fly to put the Owls back on top 3-2.
LF Justin Glass continued the seesaw of a game with a sac fly in the fifth to tie the game at three. Catcher Michael D’Acunti knocked out starter Connor Walsh with a RBI triple in the bottom of the inning after 1B Robert Amaro led off the inning with a single as the momentum shifted slightly to the home team. The Bearcats would play sloppy baseball in the inning with an error leading to another Temple run.
The Owls would propel their lead to three on a sac fly in the sixth but the story was Hockenberry on the mound. The starter was dealing through seven as he got his final hitter to ground out and complete another dominant pitching performance.
CF Jimmy Kerrigan would add an insurance run in the seventh with an RBI double to enter the hit column. Up four, Temple made a bold move to bring in struggling RP Preston Hill in the eighth instead of the more dominant Tim McCarthy. Hill retired the first two Bearcats with a walk in between.
With two outs the lead started started to look insecure as Temple committed another error to put two men on the corners. 3B Ryan Quinn continued the rally with a single but Kerrigan botched the play in center allowing two runs to score as Quinn ended up on third. With the score 7-5, Hill pulled through striking out the final hitter in the inning preventing a comeback.
The Owls couldn’t muster anything in the bottom of the inning as they called upon shutdown closer Zach Batchelor. He faced trouble in the inning giving up two singles but retired the final hitter via groundout to complete the 7-5 win and etch another AAC victory.
Hockenberry (4-1) has proven to be the Owls ace on the season and Friday didn’t alter that claim as he went 7.0 innings giving up only two earned runs and had eight strikeouts in the win. Bearcat starter Conner Walsh (2-5) added to his struggling season going only 4.1 innings with five runs let up, two earned, and walked four Owls.
RF Matt Williams led Cincy at the plate going 4-5 while Robert Amaro went 3-4 for the Owls.
Temple (10-17, 3-4) clashes again with Cincinnati Saturday.