Radford, Va. (3/5/14) – The Owls had a troubling time in the state of Virginia. After enduring a three game sweep against VCU, Temple dropped a pair Wednesday against Radford 6-3 and 3-1 going (0-5) in the Old Dominion state.
1B Alexander Lee put the Highlanders on the board early with a RBI single in the bottom of the first. Temple RHP Phil Gianakos was pulled early in the game as he was replaced by RHP Daniel Wasson. The Owls went to the bullpen surprisingly early as there was a DH and no need for a pinch hitter.
Wasson, who started the bottom of the third with two outs, let three Radford hitters reach base. Matt Hockenberry, coming into the game with a cool 4.36 ERA, got the final Highlander hitter to fly out and end the threat.
Temple answered in the fourth with a clutch two out hit by CF Jimmy Kerrigan who drove home C Michael D’Acunti to tie the game at one. It was the first hit of the game for the Cherry and White. Hockenberry shut out the Highlanders in the bottom of the inning but Radford would fight back.
RHP Patrick Vanderslice was called upon to pitch the bottom of the fifth but surrendered two singles and a walk to load the bases while getting a strikeout. Ryan Keuhn replaced him in a jam and couldn’t come up big as 3B Hunter Higgerson sprayed a double to left center driving in two. Keuhn got OF Blake Sipe to groundout but another run crossed the plate as the Radford lead peaked at three.
Temple’s Robert Amaro blasted a two run shot in the sixth, after a Derek Peterson single, as the first baseman wasn’t going to let the Owls fall again. His efforts were futile however as the Highlanders added two more in the sixth and once again were up three. Radford went with RHP Nygeal Andrews, who struggled in his two previous appearances, and locked down the Owls en route to a 1-2-3 seventh inning.
RHP Patrick Vanderslice (0-1) picked up the loss for the Owls as his ERA ballooned to 17.38. Southpaw RP James Woods (2-0) gets credited with the win in relief as he finished the fourth inning with the lead.
Temple faced Radford in the second game of the doubleheader but the results came out the same.
Freshman catcher Nick West had a rough debut behind the plate with two throwing errors in the first inning. 2B Josh Gardner made the Owls pay for their mistakes with a RBI double that brought the first Radford run home. Nygeal Andrews, the Highlander’s closer in the opener, and Hunter Higgerson both dealt damage with RBI singles in the inning. Radford led by three in the first.
Having to come from behind once again, diminutive 2B Reyn Sugai showed up in the second with two outs smacking a single to right to put the Owls on the board.
Pitching dominated the seven inning affair as both teams went to the pen early in the game. Temple RHP Zach White (0-2) was pulled after the first after giving up three unearned runs and lefty Mitchell MacKeith went 4.0 innings of one run ball. MacKeith had a staggering 21.62 ERA coming into the game. Temple couldn’t produce a run on offense, after Sugai tried to spark a charge, as RHPs Kyle Zurak and Tyler Costello shut out the Owls in the final three frames.
Temple (1-7) will face Niagara in their next bout at Saint Joseph’s University on Friday at 10:45 a.m.