- A pair of doubles and a homer from senior Adrian Perez
drove in three runs to lift the Temple baseball team past George Washington, 5-4, in the series opener at Barcroft Park on Thursday afternoon. The Owls improve to 24-27 overall, 4-18 in Atlantic 10 play with the win while the Colonials fall to 17-36, 7-15 in A-10 action.
A massive day at the plate from Perez was matched by a tremendous performance from senior Ben White
on the hill. Pitching in his final collegiate game, White earned the win with five strikeouts over 7.0 innings of work. Redshirt-junior Steve Nikorak
tossed the final two frames scoreless to card the save, fanning five.
Perez was joined by sophomore Elijah Yarborough
as the only other Owl to record multiple hits on the day. Senior Byron McKoy
and junior Jabair Khan
also doubled in the contest.
George Washington starter Brian Derner lasted 8.2 innings before handing the ball over. His defense was of no help on the day, with the Colonials committing four errors.
Temple posted a run in the first and second to take a 2-0 lead. McKoy led off the game with a double to left center, coming in to score on Perez's first double of the day. In the top of the second, senior Ben Flanary
drew a walk to start things off and moved to second on a single by Yarborough. Both runners would advance on a failed pickoff attempt by Derner, with Flanary scoring on the play.
The Colonials managed their first hits and run of the game in the third, tying the game with one run in the sixth.
Two runs in the top of the eight gave the Owls a 4-2 advantage. Yarborough led off with a single up the middle, but would be caught at second on a grounder by McKoy. Still with a runner on first, Perez dug in a roped a towering homer down the left field line to clear the bases.
Nikorak held the home team scoreless in the eighth, striking out three of the four batters he faced in the frame. A critical insurance run in the top of the ninth for Temple would be the deciding factor in the game. Khan drilled a two-out double to right center to spark a rally. He would come in to score on a misplayed ball at third on a grounder by Flanary to give the Owls a 5-3 lead.
George Washington battled in the top of the ninth and plated two on a two-out homer by Paul Pakan. Nikorak would regroup, however, and secure the final out on a flyout to lock in the win.
The series continues tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. as the Owls send junior Brant Norlander
to the hill to take on GW's Tommy Gately.