Despite series loss, fielding sees some improvements

Coach Ryan Wheeler switched up the infield against South Florida.

Although the Owls didn’t win the series this weekend against USF, the Owls got a chance to experiment with a new strategy to improve its recent fielding issues.

For most of the season, Temple started junior Reyn Sugai at second, junior Josh Mason at short and senior Derek Peterson at third. However this weekend, coach Ryan Wheeler made some changes. For games two and three, Wheeler started Sugai at third, Peterson at short and Mason at second. With these changes, the team had a total of two errors, one by Sugai on Saturday and one by Mason on Sunday.

The previous weekend, the team combined for 12 errors through their three games.

“It worked, and if it’s working, you don’t mess with it,” Wheeler said. “I think Josh feels real comfortable over there at second base and Derek is doing a very good job at short. I was just concerned with Reyn playing third because he hasn’t played there a whole lot, but he stepped in and did a nice job.”

The players said they were comfortable with the move.

“I think it’s working out real well, everybody made the plays for the most part this weekend,” Sugai said. “I’m kind of comfortable at third base. I played there all of my freshman year.”

“We had a lot of errors this past weekend [versus Cincinnati], our first time playing on this field,” Mason said. “We are just getting used to [Campbell’s Field] and I think we are used to it. I think we are going to play really clean baseball from here on out.”

Moving forward, Wheeler said he expects the infield to stay the same, given the success that they’ve had.

“Sean Arnott is a guy whose been scuffling a little bit and if we can get him going in some way offensively, then he’s another guy to throw in the mix there,” Wheeler said. “But right now I think its probably going to stick as is.”

“Although we didn’t come out on top this weekend, we did show a lot of progress,” Sugai said.

 Ed LeFurge III can be reached at or on Twitter @Ed_LeFurge_III.

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