Baseball Travels to Rutgers for American Weekend Series

Baseball Travels to Rutgers for American Weekend Series

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FIRST PITCH

Temple returns to American Athletic Conference play with a trip to Rutgers.

Action begins on Friday, May 2 at 3 p.m.  On Saturday, May 3, play begins at 1 p.m.  On Sunday, May 4, the first pitch is slated for 1 p.m.  All games will be played at Bainton Field in Piscataway, N.J..

SCOUTING TEMPLE
The Owls, under third-year head coach Ryan Wheeler, stand 12-24 overall and 7-8 in American Athletic Conference play.

After 36 games, senior 1B Robert Amaro is the Owls' leading hitter with a .309 batting average. He has 20 runs, 42 hits, two home runs, and a team-best 33 RBI in 36 starts. A starter in all 33 games, sophomore OF Jimmy Kerrigan  (.298) follows with 13 runs on 39 hits and 11 RBI. Senior 3B Derek Peterson (.278) has scored a team-best 27 runs on 38 hits with a team-leading 19 doubles.  Senior OF Bobby Heitzman (.236) has scored eight runs on 13 hits and has six doubles, a triple, and nine RBI.

On the mound, senior RHP Matt Hockenberry (3.78 ERA) sports a 4-4 record in 64.1 innings pitched, the most of any Owl.  He's fanned 44 batters and walked 16.  Redshirt senior RHP Ryan Kuehn (3.16 ERA) has pitched in 11 contests with six starts. He has fanned 17 batters and walked 13.  Freshman RHP Patrick Vanderslice (6.06 ERA) has appeared in 13 games with four starts.  He's struck out 18 batters and walked eight.  

SCOUTING RUTGERS
The Scarlet Knights, under the guidance of first-year head coach Joe Litterio, stand 19-22 overall and 6-8 in American Athletic Conference play.

Senior SS Pat Sweeney (.358) leads the Knights in hitting with 28 runs, 39 hits, nine doubles, and 18 RBI.  Senior OF/IF Brian O'Grady (.342) follows with 33 runs, 52 hits, and 22 RBI. He has a team-best 10 (of 14) stolen bases.  Senior 2B/SS Nick Favatella (.279) leads the team in doubles (19) and has 28 hits and 16 RBI. He is No. 4 nationally in consecutive starts with 186.

On the mound, sophomore LHP Howie Brey (2.57 ERA) is 4-2 in nine appearances with seven starts.  He has pitched 49.0 innings, fanned 23 batters, and walked 18.  Freshman RHP Gaby Rosa (2.82) is 4-2 in 11 games with seven starts.  He has pitched 51.0 innings, most on the team, and has 24 strikeouts and 14 walks.  R-freshman RHP Kyle Driscoll (3.51 ERA) is 3-2.  He has pitched 48.2 innings with a team-best 53 strikeouts and 16 walks.

SERIES VS. SCARLET KNIGHTS
Regional rivals (and former Atlantic 10 Conference rivals) Temple and Rutgers have met on the diamond since 1941.  The Scarlet Knights hold a 44-24 series edge.  This is their first meeting in American Conference play.

In their last meeting on May 3, 2011, Rutgers claimed a 2-1 win at home, their third straight victory over the Owls.  

TU's last win was a 9-5 decision at Rutgers on March 5, 2008.

OWL NOTES & TRENDS
•    Temple stands third in the American in triples (10) and first in least home runs allowed (5).
•    Three Owls— Robert Amaro, Jimmy Kerrigan, and Derek Peterson— have started every game this season.
•    Senior Matt Hockenberry has been the Owls' No. 1 pitcher all season.  In the American Athletic Conference, he is ranked No. 3 in strikeouts looking (16), No. 9 in strikeouts (44), No. 10 in innings pitched (64.1). Hockenberry is tied for first in home runs allowed (0).
•    R-junior Zach Batchelor is TU's top reliever.  He is now tied for seventh in career saves for Temple with six.  He is also tied for fourth of the season record for saves.  Batchelor is ranked sixth in the conference in saves (4).
•    Senior IF Derek Peterson ranks No. 1 in the American and No. 4 nationally in doubles (19).
•    In the American senior Robert Amaro is No. 5 in RBI (33) and No. 5 in putouts (314).
•    Temple played its first home game of the 2014 season on April 1 vs. Delaware.
•    Mother Nature has not been kind to Temple this spring, cancelling or postponing
    all home games until April 1. Overall, a total of 19 games have been cancelled or rescheduled.
•    TU opened American Athletic Conference play at Memphis, capturing two wins.
•    The Owls hosted Cincinnati in their first American Athletic Conference home games, claiming two victories.
•    Senior Robert Amaro is the nephew of Philadelphia Phillies' general manager Ruben Amaro.
•    Four conference schools— Cincinnati, Houston, Louisville, and Memphis are first-time opponents.

UP NEXT
Temple closes out the regular season with back-to-back American Athletic Conference series.

The Owls will host No. 13/8 Louisville on May 9-11. The first pitch on Friday, May 9 is slated for 3 p.m. at Skip Wilson Field in Ambler.  The series resumes at Campbell's Field in Camden. On Saturday, May 10, play begins at 11 a.m.  The series concludes on Sunday, May 11 at Noon. 
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