Coming off of three consecutive losses to Rhode Island this past weekend, Temple will host Villanova at Skip Wilson Field on Tuesday, April 23 at 3:00 p.m.
The match-up will mark freshman pitcher Connor Staskey’s first start of his collegiate career, who has appeared in 11 games for the Owls this season. The freshman left-handed pitcher has a record of 3-0 with a 4.05 ERA in 13.1 innings pitched.
“[Staskey] was a starting pitcher in high school,” coach Ryan Wheeler said. “He has been in the bullpen this season, but he has earned this start on Tuesday.”
Wheeler hopes that the Owls can provide Staskey with some run support, as Temple scored just three runs in three games against the Rams this past weekend.
“We are a team looking to continue to compete and improve each day,” Wheeler said. “Regardless of our record and how season has gone, everyday is a chance to learn and get better. This past weekend was tough for us but we pitched and played defense very well. We just need to get back on track offensively.”
The Owls will need to replace senior second baseman Jordan Queja, who broke his arm after a hit-by-pitch this past weekend and will miss the rest of the season. Wheeler said he expects senior Elijah Yarborough and freshman Sean Arnott to split time at second base for the remainder of the season.
On the season, the Owls have played better while they are on their home turf. As the home team, Temple is 7-4, compared to 6-13 when playing away from Skip Wilson Field.
Entering Tuesday’s match-up, Wheeler said he expects his players to want more out of a Temple team that dropped in the Atlantic-10 Conference standings following the Rhode Island sweep. While Tuesday is not a conference game, the game will its own bragging rights for the Philadelphia Big 5 match-up.
“The sweep wasn’t part of our game plan this past weekend,” redshirt-senior pitcher Dan Moller said. “We are going to come into Tuesday’s game with a chip on our shoulder.”
John Murrow can be reached at email@example.com or Twitter @JohnMurrow12.