Baseball Falls To Florida Gulf Coast In Season Opener
Junior Rafael Cordero

Baseball Falls To Florida Gulf Coast In Season Opener

Box Score

FORT MYERS, Fla.
– Opening night went scoreless for two frames, but several uncharacteristic errors from the Temple outfield allowed Florida Gulf Coast to post a 10-0 win Friday at Swanson Stadium. The Owls battled at the plate facing a formidable foe in lefthander Chris Sale, but came up short against the Eagles, ranked #38 by Collegiate Baseball.

“We had some battling at bats and hit some balls right at people,” commented head coach Rob Valli. “Over the course of a long season those will even out,. We also had each outfielder make an error, which will not be typical.”

Redshirt-senior Matt Mongiardini kept the Eagles off-balance over the first two innings, allowing three runners, but managed to work his way out with none crossing the plate.

Sale, a preseason All-America honoree, was dealing from the start. Limited to two innings tonight, the lefty fanned four of the six Owls he faced. Richie Erath worked six strong innings in relief, not allowing a run and striking out six.

Sophomore Jabair Khan singled in the top of the third to give the Owls their first base runner of the night, but was picked off to end the inning.

FGCU opened the scoring with two runs in the third, capitalizing on a misjudged ball by TU junior Byron McKoy. The result was a triple for Luke Smierciak, who eventually scored on a sacrifice bunt giving the Eagles a lead they would not relinquish.

Mongiardini found himself in a jam in the fourth, walking the first batter Zach Maxfield and allowing Josh Chester to single to right. Two errors on the single scored Maxfield, and another walk and hit brought sophomore Steve Visnic to enter in relief.

Visnic surrendered just two runs, one earned, over the next two innings. Freshman James Powers made his collegiate debut, giving up three runs in the seventh before giving way to senior Mike Click in the eighth.

FGCU catcher Robert Greene had two hits and two RBI, while shortstop Stephen Wickens had two hits and scored twice.

Mongiardini (0-1) suffered the loss after allowing three earned runs in three innings. Erath (1-0) gets the win, only allowing three hits and walking none.

Temple (0-1) looks to make some adjustments and bounce back Saturday in the second of a three game set with FGCU. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m.

NOTES: Ryan Ferguson, Taylor Juran, Jabair Khan and Rafael Cordero each had a hit…The all-time series is evened at 1-1…Freshman Daniel Dragos walked in his first career at bat.
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