Baseball hosts Villanova in non-conference tilt

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 or Twitter @JohnMurrow12.

Baseball to take on Rhode Island

After taking the final two games of a three-game series against conference opponent Virginia Commonwealth last weekend, Temple (14-17, 5-7 Atlantic 10) will travel to Kingston, RI for a three-game series against Rhode Island (19-17, 6-3 A-10).

Despite falling 2-1 in last Friday’s match-up against the Rams, the Owls were able to take Saturday’s meeting behind a strong pitching performance behind sophomore pitcher Eric Peterson and finished the weekend with two runs in the eighth inning to take Sunday’s meeting 4-3. Coming off of their first series win last weekend, coach Ryan Wheeler said hopes his team can stay hot.

Rhode Island has had a lot of success in the past four to five years,” Wheeler said. “They’ve had a tough early schedule so I don’t think their record is indicative of the kind of season they are having. They are also well coached so I believe this is going to be a very tough test for us.”

In the Owls first game on Friday at 3:00 p.m., sophomore pitcher Patrick Peterson will start on the mound. Despite 8.0 innings pitched, Peterson allowed nine hits, two runs, one walk and five strikeouts in his fourth loss of the season. In 2013, Peterson has started eight games for Temple, compiling a 1-4 record with a 4.10 ERA.

On Saturday at 1:00 p.m., Eric Peterson will look to continue his dominance against the A-10. In last Saturday’s match-up, Peterson hurled 7.0 innings, allowing four hits and one earned run while adding one walk and seven strikeouts. In his first season in the starting rotation, Peterson leads the Owls with a 5-0 record with a 1.82 ERA.

In the series finale on Sunday at noon, Wheeler has yet to announce his starting pitcher. Redshirt-senior pitcher Dan Moller, junior pitcher Matt Hockenberry and junior pitcher Preston Hill are among the candidates Wheeler said he may choose from.

“They pitch, they play defense and it looks like they also run a little bit,” Wheeler said about Rhode Island. “They also bunt, play the short game, but they don’t have a lot of power. They are at the top of the conference for a reason.”

Rhode Island will enter the weekend sitting in the sixth position in the A-10 standings, while Temple holds the ninth spot.

Although Rhode Island does not have one batter hitting above .300, 40 extra-base hits have allowed the Rams to score 174 runs in 36 games. On the mound, Temple is likely to face Rhode Island pitchers Sean Furney and Mike Bradstreet, who have combined for nine of the Ram’s 19 wins on the season.

“Hopefully [Temple] can do okay this weekend,” Wheeler said. “It is definitely going to be a tough test for us.”

John Murrow can be reached at or Twitter @JohnMurrow12.

Baseball headed to Richmond

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 or Twitter @JohnMurrow12.

Temple to host St. Peter’s

After dropping two out of three conference games to La Salle this past weekend, Temple will host St. Peter’s at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10 at Skip Wilson Field.

In Sunday’s matchup, the Owls used five different pitchers after redshirt senior starting pitcher Dan Moller was relieved after 2.0 innings. For Wednesday’s meeting with the Peacocks, coach Ryan Wheeler has not made a decision on who will start on the mound.

“It will probably be a little bit of a staff day,” Wheeler said. “Right now, I am probably leaning towards [sophomore pitcher] Adam Dian.”

Temple’s pitching staff with face a tough presence in the form of St. Peter’s senior Pat Farrell who leads the Peacocks offensively in non-conference games this season, batting .333 (12-for-36) in 14 games.

The Owls will also enter Wednesday’s meeting losers of four out of their past five games, winning the lone contest in a complete game shutout delivered from sophomore pitcher Patrick Peterson against La Salle on Saturday.

This season against non-conference opponents, Temple is 8-10, but is 3-0 against non-conference opponents at Skip Wilson Field this season.

“Regardless right now of who the opponent is, I am more concerned about what is going on in our dugout and how we are playing,” Wheeler said. “I told these guys we are not quitting; there is still a good part of the season left and we are going to keep working to try and get better.”

John Murrow can be reached at or Twitter @JohnMurrow12.

Owls to face Delaware in Liberty Bell Classic

Coming off of a 1-0 loss in the second game of a Saturday doubleheader to George Washington, Temple (10-13, 2-4 Atlantic 10 Conference) will face Delaware in Newark, DE in the semifinal game of the Liberty Bell Classic on Tuesday, April 2.

While Temple has won of three of its past five games, the Owls will face a Blue Hens team that has not suffered a loss since March 17. Delaware has won its last eight games and has outscored its opponents 71-42.

Starting on the mound for Temple on Tuesday will be sophomore pitcher Adam Dian, who last pitched against Lehigh in the Liberty Bell Classic quarterfinal game against Lehigh on March 27. Dian finished the game with 3.0 innings pitched allowing no runs, three hits, no walks, and three strikeouts in the 9-3 defeat of the Mountain Hawks.

The Owls will be opposed by Blue Hens’ sophomore pitcher Dan Gatto. In 21.0 innings this season, Gatto has a 5.14 ERA accompanied by a 1-1 record.

In the second game of the 2013 season, Temple fell to Delaware 8-4 in Cary, N.C. Freshman catcher Michael D’Acunti led the Owls with two hits in four at-bats with one RBI in the loss.

The winner of Tuesday’s matchup will advance to the Liberty Bell Classic Final on April 16 at Citizens Bank Park. The Owls or Blue Hens will meet with Villanova or Penn in the championship game.

Following Tuesday’s game, Temple will return to A-10 conference play on Friday when they host LaSalle in a three-game series at Skip Wilson Field.

John Murrow can be reached at or Twitter @JohnMurrow12.

Temple to face George Washington in conference play

Coming off of back-to-back wins for the third time this season, Temple (9-11, 1-2 Atlantic 10 Conference) will resume A-10 conference play as they face George Washington (8-16, 3-0 A-10) in a three-game series in Washington D.C. beginning on Friday, March 29.

While the two teams have not met since May 2011, it was the Colonials that had the upper hand, taking two-of-three games to end the Owls’ 2011 season.

“[George Washington] has a new head coach and are going through same things we did last year as a team with a new coach,” coach Ryan Wheeler said. “They struggled early, but some things are starting to come together for them. They will be a tough team.”

For the first two match-ups of the three-game series, sophomore pitchers Patrick and Eric Peterson will start for Temple. Patrick will start against the Colonials on Friday at 3:00 p.m. and Eric will start Saturday’s game scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

In the final game of the weekend on Sunday at noon, Wheeler said redshirt-senior pitcher Dan Moller will “probably” start.

The Owls will look to reverse their fortune on the road this weekend, as the team is 3-6 on the road this season and 5-2 when playing at home.

“I think it’s going to be good a good weekend for us,” senior left-fielder Allen Stiles said. “We played well last weekend and we have won our last two games. We have a little something rolling and we hope to keep it up.”

John Murrow can be reached at or Twitter @JohnMurrow12.

Temple plays host to Lehigh in non-conference game

Coming off of its first Atlantic 10 conference win of the season, Temple (8-11, 1-2 A-10) will host Lehigh (11-9, 0-0) at Skip Wilson Field on Tuesday, March 26 at 3:00 p.m.

The Owls will be in search of their third two-game win streak of the season as they face the Mountain Hawks for the second time this season. In their first meeting on March 20, Temple defeated Lehigh 11-8 in Bethlehem, PA.

While coach Ryan Wheeler had not named a starter for Tuesday’s game as of Sunday, junior pitcher Preston Hill, originally scheduled to start Sunday’s 11-1 win against St. Joseph’s but was unable to due to an illness, may be called upon to start on Tuesday against the Mountain Hawks. Hill leads all Owls with a 2.61 ERA in four appearances while compiling an 0-1 record in two starts this season.

After an offensive heavy defeat of St. Joseph’s on Sunday, the Owls will look to keep both their confidence and bats prepared for Tuesday’s match-up, coach Wheeler said.

Following Tuesday’s game, Temple will resume conference play on Friday, March 29 as the Owls travel to George Washington for a three-game series with the Colonials.

John Murrow can be reached at or Twitter @JohnMurrow12.

Owls put winning streak on the line against the Hawks

On Friday, March 22, Temple (7-9) will begin conference play with a three-game series against Saint Joseph’s (8-11) beginning at 3:00 p.m. at Skip Wilson Field.

The Owls will enter Friday winners of their past four games, three of which were at Skip Wilson Field dating back to Friday, March 15.

With its three-game winning streak in doubt on Tuesday entering the ninth inning, Temple put together a four-run top of the ninth to top Lehigh 11-8 in Bethlehem, Pa. to extend its’ streak to four consecutive wins.

In the win over Lehigh, junior first baseman Derek Peterson finished 4-for-5 with three runs scored, while both redshirt-junior center fielder David Hall and junior right-fielder Bobby Heitzman each added three RBI.

This season, Temple is 3-0 while playing at home, while St. Joe’s is 2-10 while on the road in 2013.

The Owls will face the Hawks on Friday at 3:00 p.m., Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and on Sunday at noon.

Baseball travels to Bethlehem to face Lehigh

Coming off of back-to-back wins against Penn State this past Sunday, Temple (6-9) is in Bethlehem, Pa. to play one game against Lehigh (10-6) at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19.

Winners of their previous three home games, the Owls have not found the same success while they are away from Skip Wilson Field. In 12 games on the road this season, Temple is 3-9.

The Owls will be preparing for a Lehigh team that put together a six-game wining streak from March 3 to March 12 and has won seven of its previous nine games.

Coach Ryan Wheeler said he is hoping that the team will feed off of Sunday’s win, hoping that the success will carry into Tuesday’s game against Lehigh as well as the team’s first games against conference opponents beginning Friday, March 24 against Saint Joseph’s.

Owls host Penn State in weekend doubleheader

Coming off of a 10-3 win over Lafayette in its home opener, Temple (4-9) will face Penn State (5-9) in a doubleheader at Skip Wilson Field beginning at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 16.

In just their second and third home game of the season, the Owls are hoping boost their record against a tough Penn State squad.

“Penn State will definitely be a good club,” coach Ryan Wheeler said. “They have a tremendous amount of athletes, good quality pitching, and they are going to be a solid team all around.”

In the first game of the doubleheader, sophomore pitcher Patrick Peterson will take the mound for the Owls. In three starts for Temple this season, Peterson is 0-2 with a 4.80 ERA with eight walks and leads the Owls in strikeouts with 15.

Following the 12:00 p.m. game, the Owls will play the second game of the doubleheader against the Nittany Lions. Wheeler has named sophomore pitcher Eric Peterson as his starter for game two. In four appearances this season, Eric Peterson has compiled a 2-0 record with a 2.53 ERA. Eric Peterson has recorded three walks and nine strikeouts in three relief appearances and one start in 2013.

In 14 games this season, the Nittany Lions have a team batting average of .275 accompanied by a team ERA of 5.32, while the Owls have a team batting average of .269 and a staff ERA of 5.43 in 13 games.

“We are expecting a team that will play hard the entire game,” redshirt-senior pitcher Dan Moller said.

During the Owls’ 2012 fall season, Temple traveled to Penn State and defeated the Nittany Lions in a scrimmage game, something Moller said he doesn’t believe Penn State has forgotten.

“I believe they will come in with a chip on their shoulders after we beat them in the fall,” Moller said. “No matter what, we are expecting a solid team and a solid performance from them on Saturday.”

On the road this season, Penn State will begin play Saturday with a record of 3-9 while they are the visiting team, while Temple is 1-0 when playing on its home turf in Ambler, PA.

“This weekend is going to be a good test to see if we can continue to play solid baseball,” Wheeler said. “We have been lacking consistency in certain aspects of our game and we hope to fix that starting Saturday.”

John Murrow can be reached at or Twitter @JohnMurrow12.