After waiting a day due to weather conditions, Temple (6-9) swept Penn State (5-11) in a two-game doubleheader on Sunday, March 17 at Skip Wilson Field.
In the first game held at 12 p.m., the Owls defeated the Nittany Lions 4-2. Following the win, Temple upheld Penn State 3-2 on a walk-off single in the bottom of the tenth inning.
“We both had chips on our shoulders and we were trying to come out here and prove something,” senior left-fielder Allen Stiles said about Penn State and Temple. During the 2012 fall season, the Owls defeated the Nittany Lions in a scrimmage game.
After two scoreless innings, Penn State jumped on the scoreboard first with a third inning run. The Owls responded with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the third, leading the Nittany Lions 2-1.
In the fourth inning, both the Owls and Nittany Lions each added a run and Temple entered the fifth inning leading 3-2.
Game one starter sophomore pitcher Patrick Peterson finished his day with five innings pitched, three hits, two runs, while recording three walks and three strikeouts. Patrick Peterson earned the win in the first game of the afternoon.
Junior pitcher Preston Hill replaced Patrick Peterson in the top of the sixth inning. Hill closed the game for the Owls with four innings pitched, allowing one hit and no runs while recording three strikeouts and no walks.
“They gave us a great job,” Stiles said about Temple’s pitching in the doubleheader. “It was good for everything to come together today because they have been great for us lately.”
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Temple added its final run of game one as Nittany Lions’ first baseman senior Matt Paradise fumbled over a ground ball, which allowed the Owls to score their fourth run of the game.
For the final two innings of the game, Hill shutdown the Nittany Lions’ offense, allowing one hit and sealing the 4-2 win for the Owls.
Temple’s Achilles heal for game one was the three errors allowed throughout the game. In the win, the Owls lead the Nittany Lions in hits six to four.
“I wanted to take the series, but I really wanted to see if the team was happy with one win,” Wheeler said. “The thing that pleased me the most was that they were not satisfied.”
At 2:55 p.m., Temple and Penn State began game two of the doubleheader. Starting on the mound for the Owls was sophomore pitcher Eric Peterson.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Temple earned the game’s first run as senior left-fielder Allen Stiles singled through the right side, scoring senior third baseman Henry Knabe, who reached on a leadoff single. One batter later, red shirt-junior center-fielder David Hall singled through the right side, scoring Stiles and giving the Owls the 2-0 lead.
In the top of the sixth inning, red shirt-senior third baseman Elliot Searer singled to center field, which was Eric Peterson’s first hit allowed of game two.
“It did cross my mind but you just have to go out there and throw strikes and let the game happen,” Eric Peterson said about the thought of a no-hitter.
The Nittany Lions notched two runs in the sixth inning as senior second baseman Luis Montesinos grounded out to second base, scoring Sear. Penn State added its final run of the game as sophomore pinch hitter J.J. White singled to right-center, scoring red shirt-junior center-fielder Steve Snyder. At the end of the sixth inning, the Owls and Nittany Lions were locked up at 2-2.
Eric Peterson finished his day with seven innings pitched, allowing three hits and two runs, while recording one walk and six strikeouts.
“It felt pretty good to go out there and throw strikes,” Eric Peterson said. “I thought I had my best stuff for the most part.”
Redshirt-junior pitcher Ryan Kuehn replaced Eric Peterson in the top of the eighth inning.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Owls remained tied with the Nittany Lions 2-2. Despite having the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the ninth, junior first baseman Derek Peterson grounded into a double play, ending the threat for Penn State and sending the game into extra innings.
After a scoreless top of the tenth inning, a one out double from Stiles began the rally for the Owls. With runners on first and third base following a Nittany Lions’ shortstop, junior right-fielder Bobby Heitzman flied out to right field, scoring Stiles for game winning run as Temple defeated Penn State 3-2.
“Walking off is always great, and to get started like that at home is a really great,” Stiles said.
Temple will be back in action on Tuesday, March 19 as they travel to Lehigh for one game at 3:00 p.m.
“This was by far our best baseball of the season and we played the game the right way today,” Wheeler said. “I hope it’s a tremendous confidence builder as we get ready for conference play next weekend.”
John Murrow can be reached at email@example.com or Twitter @JohnMurrow12.