Temple’s pitching staff came up all aces last weekend, as three starters hurled complete-game victories en route to the Owls’ recent sweep over Fordham.
The scores to the games were 8-2, 5-0 and 9-5. The Owls staff combined for 17 strikeouts, while only giving up four earned runs in the three-game set.
The victories gave the first-place Owls (13-20, 8-1 Atlantic 10) a two-and-a-half game lead over defending conference champion George Washington (22-14, 8-4). The two teams will square off in a huge conference battle this Friday at Erny Field.
Junior pitcher Brian Bruno paced the Owls in game one. Bruno (2-1) held Fordham’s bats at bay with a six-hit, five-strikeout performance, while Temple’s offense took care of the rest. Temple put up a five-run first inning, which proved to be more than enough for Bruno and the Owls, as they cruised the rest of the way in the 8-2 victory.
Kyle Sweppenhiser and Jim Tully led the Owls with two hits apiece.
Game two featured a pitcher’s duel between Temple’s Jeff Rugg and Fordham’s John Baco. Neither pitcher flinched for the first five innings as Rugg (5-3) only gave up two singles, and Baco (0-5) was hitless in that span. But the Owls were finally able to break through in the sixth, as they chased Baco with their second five-run inning of the series.
Rugg sealed the deal with a three-strikeout, two-hit gem that earned him A-10 Pitcher of the Week honors.
The Owls turned to their ace, Greg Powell, in the final game. Powell responded with an overpowering 10-strikeout performance in the Owls’ 9-5 victory. Jim Tully once again led the way, going 2-for-3 with two runs, one RBI and a stolen base.
Tully finished the weekend series 5-for-9 with four runs and two RBI.
(bold) A-10 Notebook
Records continue to break this season as two St. Joseph’s Hawks put their name atop the record books.
Senior Eric Wyatt became the Hawks’ all-time leading base-stealer last Saturday with his 49th career stolen base, while his teammate, Kevin Kirkby became the schools all-time saves leader with his ninth career save that same weekend.
Joining Rugg with A-10 honors this week were Massachusetts’ Jeff Altieri and St. Bonaventure’s freshman Eric Wilson. Altieri went 8-for-18 last week with eight RBI to capture Player of the Week honors, while A-10 Rookie of the Week Eric Wilson finished the week batting 5-for-10 with two doubles and two RBI.