The Owls endured a tumultuous stretch in the latter half of April. After a 6-2 dispatching of American Athletic Conference foe UConn; Villanova, Delaware and Monmouth gave Temple problems. In their match up with Nova last Tuesday, the Wildcats plated eleven total in the sixth and seventh after the Owls were only down one heading into the inning. Seldom used LF Texas Williams was a bright spot going 3-5 for the game.
The Blue Hens of Delaware upped Nova with seven runs in an inning. They scored all with one out in the fifth pushing their lead to eight. Three Temple hitters had two hits in the game but the pitching flamed out in the loss. In the opener against Monmouth, the Owls pulled out to a one run lead with a homer by Derek Peterson but SP Matt Hockenberry gave up RBI singles in the seventh to Robbie Allesandrine and Danny Avella to put the Mountain Hawks in the lead for good.
Monmouth jumped to a two run lead in the second game of the series but three Temple errors cost the Owls in the 4-3 loss. In the finale, the Owls jumped to a 3-0 lead with a RBI double from Robert Amaro and a RBI triple by Frank D’Agostino. SP Ryan Keuhn was sailing through the game unharmed until the fifth when he threw a wild pitch with the bases loaded to cut the lead to two.
With the lead at two heading into the ninth, usually reliable closer Zach Batchelor couldn’t protect the lead. A leadoff error, the Owls had four in the game, allowed the runner to reach base and start the domino effect. Batchelor got the next hitter to ground out but surrendered back to back singles to load the bases. He would walk the next hitter to cut the lead in half. LF Craig Sweeney stepped in down two and delivered the clutch two run single as the Mountain Hawks tied the game at four. The onslaught would continue an inning later after Batchelor got the double play to end the ninth. Four Mountain Hawk hitters hit singles in the tenth off reliever Tim McCarthy to take the 7-4 lead and score six unanswered to pick up the win in extras.
Temple (12-24) looks to stop the skid Tuesday against rival Villanova.