Coming off of a 9-7 comeback victory against St. Peter’s on Tuesday, Temple (12-16, 3-6 Atlantic 10 Conference) will travel to Richmond, VA for a three-game series against VCU (15-15, 2-4 A-10).
After 14 seasons of coaching experience in Virginia, Wheeler had grown very familiar with VCU during his time with William & Mary and Richmond.
“[VCU] is a program that I have known very well for a lot of years,” Wheeler said. “They are going to have good players and are well coached. This year has been up and down for them, but I expect them to be good.”
For the first match-up on Friday, Wheeler said sophomore pitcher Patrick Peterson will be the starting pitcher for Temple in the game scheduled for 6:00 p.m. In seven starts this season, Peterson is 1-3 with a 4.46 ERA.
On Saturday at 3:00 p.m., Wheeler expects sophomore pitcher Eric Peterson to start for the Owls unless he relieves his brother on Friday night to seal a victory. On the season, Peterson leads Temple with a 4-0 record and a 1.91 ERA.
In Sunday’s matchup scheduled for 1:00 p.m., Wheeler has yet to decide on a starting pitcher.
“I think this series should be a lot of fun,” sophomore shortstop Nick Lustrino said. “We will be playing in a minor league park, which is pretty cool. [VCU] has a good history, but we believe they are beatable. Hopefully we will go down there and win a few games this weekend.”
After scoring nine runs in Tuesday’s defeat of St. Peter’s, Temple will look to keep the offensive production going as the team compiled a four-run eighth inning. Offensively the Owls were led by Lustrino who recorded three hits and three RBI in the victory.
“I expect [VCU] is going to make it a tough series for us, but we are going to go out there and try to get it done.”
John Murrow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @JohnMurrow12.