Bats explode in opener

After having its first series snowed out last weekend, the baseball team was anxious to get this season – the program’s last should the cuts not be reversed – underway.

Seven Owls recorded multi-hit games as Temple stormed past Rider University 15-8 in Wilson, N.C., on Saturday afternoon.

Senior Josh Mason smacked four hits and drove in a run and senior Robert Amaro had three hits while driving in four runs.

Right off the bat, it was clear that the Owls were ready to get started.

Temple got RBI hits in the top of the first inning from Amaro, Mason, sophomore catcher Michael D’Accunti and senior outfielder Bobby Heitzman. The Owls had a 5-0 lead before pitcher Matt Hockenberry even took the mound for Temple.

Once he took to the rubber, Hockenberry was solid. The senior right-hander earned the win after going five innings, giving up six runs – three earned – and striking out two.

When he exited the game in favor of junior reliever Phil Gianakos, the score was 12-6 Temple.

Gianakos gave up two runs in the bottom of the sixth but Temple answered right back in the seventh.

D’Accunti blasted a long solo home run, extending the lead to 13-8. Then in the top of the eighth, Derek Peterson and Amaro added an RBI each and the score was 15-8.

Sophomore Tim McCarthy pitched a scoreless eighth and freshman Pat Vanderslice closed out the game in the ninth.

Temple gets back on the field for a double-header on Sunday, taking on UMass-Lowell at 10 a.m. before again playing Rider at 1:30 pm.