Entering Friday with a four-game winning streak on the line, the Owls dropped their first game in ten days as Saint Joseph’s (9-11) defeated Temple (7-10) 8-3 at Skip Wilson Field.
Starting the game on the mound for the Owls was sophomore pitcher Patrick Peterson, who earned his first win of the season in a 4-2 victory over Penn State last Saturday. Peterson was opposed by Saint Joseph’s senior pitcher Kyle Mullen.
“[Peterson] wasn’t throwing too bad today,” coach Ryan Wheeler said. “He was nibbling on the strike zone all game, but it just didn’t work out today.”
In the bottom of the first inning, the Owls gave Peterson a three-run lead after a scoreless top of the first for the Hawks. Entering the top of the second inning, Temple led 2-0.
Following a three-run bottom of the first, the Hawks tied the game 3-3 with a three-run top of the second.
After the first inning, Mullen settled in for Saint Joseph’s, not allowing another run after the first inning.
“[Mullen] is a great pitcher, probably the best pitcher in the Atlantic 10 Conference,” Wheeler said. “Following our first inning rally, he settled in and threw strikes and they made plays behind him.”
In the sixth inning, the Owls allowed four runs and gave Saint Joseph’s the momentum to win the game, Wheeler said.
“What disappoints me is that we have not figured out how to come back and close the door,” Wheeler said. “We need the momentum to start to shift our way.”
The Hawks added one final run in the eighth inning to boost their lead to 8-3 over the Owls en route to their third win of the season on the road.
“I believe the score didn’t indicate how the game went today,” Wheeler said. “The score made it seem worse than it really was.”
The Owls and Hawks will be back in action tomorrow at Skip Wilson Field at 1:00 p.m. Wheeler has named sophomore pitcher Eric Peterson as his starting pitcher in tomorrow’s match up.
“They’re a solid team and are very well coached,” Wheeler said. “They won’t make many errors and when they do, we need to capitalize on them. We knew coming in to this series that it was going to be a challenge for us.”
John Murrow can be reached at email@example.com or Twitter @JohnMurrow12.