NEW ORLEANS, La.
- Redshirt-junior Steve Nikorak
led the Diamond Owls on the hill and at the plate, throwing four innings of two-hit ball to start and driving in four runs to help the Temple baseball team to an 11-3 series-sweep clinching win over New Orleans on Sunday afternoon. The Owls improve to 21-16 with the win, while the Privateers fall to 3-37.
Nikorak struck out three and allowed just two hits to New Orleans to start, being relieved by freshman Phil Giankos in the fifth. Gianakos (1-1) was just as solid, limiting the Privateers to five hits and one run over 5.0 innings pitched to earn his first collegiate win.
At the dish, Nikorak led the Owls with four RBI on a double and a homer. Sophomore Daniel Dragos
recored two doubles and scored twice, while senior Adrian Perez
drove in two with a double and a home run.
Scott Stonestreet was roughed up in the start for UNO, giving up six earned runs and eight hits over the 5.1 innings of work he put in.
The Owls took a 2-0 lead after the first half inning of play. Senior Byron McKoy
led off the game with a double down the left field line, swiping third before a walk to Ferguson put runners on first and third. Dragos ripped his first double of the day to left, scoring McKoy. Sophomore Henry Knabe
lifted a sacrifice fly to center that gave Ferguson enough time to score.
New Orleans answered to tie the game with a run in each the first and second innings, but a huge four-run sixth gave Temple a 6-2 lead. Ferguson singled and Dragos hit a double to set the table for Nikorak, who hit his second homer of the series to plate three. Junior Cameron Green
drew a one-out walk to restart the rally, moving to second on a single by freshman Will Remillard
. Sophomore Elijah Yarborough
earned a free pass to load the bases, with a sacrifice fly by McKoy plating the fourth run of the frame.
The Privateers got one back in the bottom of the sixth, but Giananks shut down the home team in the bottom of the seventh while the Owls' bats went back to work in the eighth. Remillard led off with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Yarborough moved Remillard over to third and reached safely with a bunt-single, with each runner advancing one base on another wild pitch. A fielder's choice allowed McKoy to reach base but caught Yarborough out at third, with the bases being cleared on a two-run shot to left by Perez. Dragos drew a two-out walk to get the rally going again, scoring on a double to left center by Nikorak. After a single by Khan moved Nikorak to third, Green came up with a single to right that plated him and gave the Owls an 11-3 lead.
Gianakos kept New Orleans off the board in the eighth and ninth, securing his first collegiate win. Temple returns to Skip Wilson Field on Tuesday, taking on city-rival Villanova at 3:00 p.m.