After winning nine of their last 10 games, Skip Wilson’s ball club finally came down to earth this week.
The Owls (10-20, 5-1 Atlantic 10) played competitive baseball, but were swept in a three-game weekend series against West Virginia, and suffered a heartbreaking loss to Delaware on Tuesday.
The scores to the games were 6-3, 8-5 and 6-3 against the Mountaineers (18-15), and after leading 3-0, the Owls fell to the Blue Hens (19-8) 5-4 with a go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The Mountaineers rallied behind their bats to take Saturday’s doubleheader. Leadoff hitter Mike Frownfelter went a perfect 3-for-3 to lead four other Mountaineers with at least two hits.
Senior pitcher Jeff Rugg (4-3) went the distance for Temple, but was tagged for 13 hits en route to getting his personal two-game winning streak snapped.
It was more of the same in the nightcap, as the Mountaineers put together another 11 hits on their way to the 8-5 victory. Jim Tully led Temple with two doubles and three RBIs.
Greg Powell, last week’s A-10 Pitcher of the Week, went the distance to keep the Owls close in the final game. Powell gave up only three earned runs in nine innings, but the defense behind him committed six errors, most of them late in the game, to allow to Mountaineers to rally from a 3-1 deficit to win 6-3.
The loss served as a prelude, as the Owls’ mistake-laden ways also cost them the ball game in Delaware.
Temple junior pitcher Brian Ursone took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and Temple was able to put together three runs in that span. But a leadoff home run by Delaware’s John Schneider and two costly errors in the fifth inning caused Temple’s 3-0 lead to quickly evaporate into a 4-3 deficit.
The Owls were able to fight back to tie the game on a wild pick-off attempt that saw Temple catcher Jeff Roma rumble all the way from first base to score in the seventh inning. But Vince Vukovich of Delaware singled in Pete Maestrale to score the game-winning run the bottom of the eighth.
Skip Wilson’s ball club will continue its conference schedule with two dates apiece against Fordham and LaSalle. The second game against LaSalle on April 18th will be a night game (7pm) at Veterans Stadium.
(bold) Atlantic 10 Notebook
The good news for Temple is that they are now in sole possession of first place in the A-10.
While the Owls were battling it out with non-conference opponents, George Washington (19-13, 6-3 A-10) ended up losing two of three to St. Bonaventure (10-8, 3-3), putting the Owls a game and a half in front of the rest of the league. The Owls only have one contest against the Colonials, which will be played on April 20th.
As expected, centerfielder Bob Filler broke Bob Christy’s mark of 187 games played in a Temple uniform. Filler played in his 188th game against Delaware at Bob Hannah Stadium. He also surpassed Tom Whalen’s career at-bat mark of 657 last week.
LaSalle third basemen Mike Cavallaro garnered A-10 Player of the Week honors. The former St. Joseph’s Prep standout went 5-for-8 with a double and a grand slam home run in the Explorers’ two victories over Fordham.
Dayton pitchers Corey Allen and Mike Rolih shared Co-Pitcher of the Week honors with their two-shutout victories over Fordham.