Revolving door in the bullpen
This season the main problem for the Temple Owls has been relief pitching. For the important Atlantic-10 conference weekend series the Owls have used the rotation of Greg Powell, Jeff Rugg, and either Chris Joyce or Matt Powell.
Greg Powell and Rugg have shown consistent starting performances, some better than others, but Matt Powell and Joyce have struggled.
And when they do struggle the Owls have to go to a depleted bullpen that usually hurts more than it helps.
In nine relief appearances Matt Powell has an ERA of 8.92. In one recent game against Umass he faced four batters and was unable to get any of them out.
Fred Hililiard has an ERA of 9.0; Dave Meyer has a 7.9 with five relief outings. So far the best relievers have been the starters, Greg Powell and Rugg. But those two have struggled as well; Powell has an ERA of 6.38. Rugg has been the best pitcher for the team thus far with a team low 3.81.
The highest ERA on the team belongs to Brian Ursone with a whopping 16.88 in two relief appearance. The best straight up reliever on the team is Brandon Bruno. Bruno has pitched 16 innings in eight relief appearances. His ERA is a reliable 6.48 and he has struck out 14.
The bullpen problem was one of coach James “Skip” Wilson’s biggest fears going into the season and his nightmare seems to have come true. None of the relievers away from Greg Powell, Rugg, and Joyce have been able to pick up a save.
Owls lose battle with Army
The Owls took a five run lead into the bottom of the fifth before they let the Cadets get on the board when the played Army at West Point, NY. But when the game was over Temple had another one run loss, 8-7.
Owls’ starter Jim Young gave up three runs in four innings before Mike Caron came in in relief and gave up another three runs. Fred Hilliard was the last Temple pitcher of the day and he gave up two runs in two innings.
Kyle Sweppenhiser’s three RBIs and a homerun were not enough for Temple to pull away in the end. Rob Cucinotta and Sam Sabolchick both went 3-for-4 on the day. Sabolchik also had three RBIs to add to his great day of hitting. Joe Lyall went 2-for-4 in the losing Temple effort.
Temple put up two in the top of the ninth inning but it wasn’t enough to get the victory as they lost 8-7.
On the road to Boyertown
Temple looks like a long shot to make the Atlantic-10 tournament in Boyertown, PA. The double elimination tournament will be held May 18 through the 20. Only the top two seeds in both the east and west conferences make the tournament.
Right now Temple is ranked fourth in the east behind St. Bonaventure, Massachusetts, and St. Joseph’s. St. Bonaventure’s is on top with a 7-5 record, but they have tough series ahead against St. Joseph’s and Massachusetts. They close the season with series against east bottom dwellers Fordham, and Rhode Island.
Massachusetts have tough games too. They play St. Bonaventure and St. Joseph’s as well. They have an easy series next weekend against Rhode Island.
St. Joseph’s has to play Massachusetts, Temple, and St. Bonaventure to close out their season. Temple can make the tournament if they play good baseball the rest of the season and Umass, St. Joe’s and St. Bonaventure’s knock each other out.
Temple has the easiest schedule of the top four teams. The best team they play will be St. Joseph’s next weekend. This weekend they play Fordham, with a 2-10 conference record, then they finish the season with a series against Rhode Island. Rhode Island is on even ground with Temple at 4-8, Temple is 4-7-1.