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 email@example.com or Twitter @JohnMurrow12.