- The Temple baseball team held a commanding lead for the better part of the Owls' series opener against La Salle, but a late rally from the Explorers dealt Temple an 8-6 loss at Skip Wilson Field on Saturday afternoon. The Owls are now 15-12 overall, 2-5 in Atlantic 10 play while the Explorers move to 16-13, 3-4 in A-10 play.
Senior Ben White
(3-5) gave the Owls a solid chance in the start, not allowing a run until the sixth inning. White struck out nine hitters and gave up five earned runs, eventually being pulled with two outs in the seventh. Redshirt-junior Steve Nikorak
finished up the game for White, giving up no runs over the 1.1 innings he pitched.
Temple beat up La Salle starter Kevin Fuqua, ringing up the righty for 12 hits and six runs. The Explorers bullpen came up clutch though, as Dominic Sgroi (2-2) and Pat Christensen combined to close out the game.
Nikorak led the Owls with three hits, starting the scoring in the bottom of the second with a towering home run to left field to give Temple a 1-0 lead. The Owls piled on four more in the third on five hits, beginning with a lead off single by junior Cameron Green
(2-3, 2 R). Senior Ben Flanary
singled into left to put runners on first and second, allowing senior Byron McKoy
to drive in Green on a double to left center. Senior Ryan Ferguson
(1-4, 2 RBI, 2B) plated two on a double to nearly the same spot as McKoy's, with junior Taylor Juran
plating the final run of the frame on a sacrifice fly.
White kept the Explorer's bats quiet over the first five, but La Salle came within one on a four-run sixth. The Owls gave the Parkesburg, Pa., native more room to work with by putting up a run in the bottom of the sixth, making the score 8-6 heading into the seventh.
After being held scoreless in the seventh, La Salle took advantage of a high pitch count on White to post four runs in the top of the eighth, taking an 8-6 lead. Temple never had another batter reach base in the final three frames.
The team's will square off again tomorrow, with a doubleheader beginning at noon. Junior Brant Norlander
will start game one for Temple, against La Salle's Eric Van Wyk. In game two, freshman Matt Hockenberry
will take on junior Cody Weiss of La Salle.