Temple Outlasts UMass Baseball In 13 Innings, 6-3
April 27, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. - Temple managed to plate the tying run with one out in the top of the ninth and later scored three times in the 13th to slip past UMass Baseball in extra innings, 6-3, on Friday at Earl Lorden Field. The loss leaves the Minutemen at 15-15 overall and 8-5 in the Atlantic 10, while the Owls improve to 15-26 on the season and 3-10 in the conference.
Temple began the afternoon by scoring in its first turn at bat. Two infield singles by Steve Nikorak and Nick Lustrino and an error on a sacrifice bunt by Jordan Queja gave the Owls a 1-0 lead.
After being held off the board in the first, UMass responded with a pair in the bottom of the second to climb on top, 2-1. Sophomores Alex Tuneski and Nik Campero began the frame with back-to-back singles. Then, following a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Dylan Begin that advanced the runners, Nick Sanford came through with a sacrifice fly to plate Tuneski. With two away, Campero came in on an RBI bunt single by junior Rich Graef. Temple starter Dan Moller limited the damage to just two in the frame, though, ending the inning on a strikeout with the bases loaded.
The Owls pulled level with the Minutemen courtesy of a solo home run to right center by Nikorak in the fifth before UMass took the lead once more in the eighth. Sophomore Kyle Adie drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a single through the right side by senior Tom Conley and, following a double steal, scored on an RBI single up the middle by Tuneski.
However, a one-out walk to Temple's Matt Elko would prove costly in the top of the ninth. The next batter, Allen Stiles, drove a double to the fence in right center to bring Elko around from first to tie the score at three and ultimately force extra innings.
UMass came close to walking off with a win in the bottom of the 12th when Begin and Sanford opened up the frame with two straight hits, a double to right and a bunt single. Graef was robbed of a game-winning single with a diving grab by Lustrino, though, and pinch runner Jeff Cavanaro was thrown out on a play at the plate on a fly ball to left to end the inning.
The Owls responded by sending nine batters to the plate in the top of the 13th. A one-out single up the middle by Stiles drove in two, while Elko scored the third on an error.
Junior Dennis Torres worked eight innings in his start for UMass and let up two runs, one earned, on six hits, did not walk a batter and struck out four. Senior Leif Sorenson (3-3) took the loss as he allowed four runs, three earned, on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
Temple reliever Eric Peterson picked up the win (1-1) as he tossed 5.2 scoreless innings and scattered three hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
Tuneski was the lone UMass player to post multiple hits in the contest, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Sanford and Graef each drove in a run, as well.
For the Owls, Stiles finished 2-for-5 with three RBI, while Nikorak was 2-for-7 with an RBI and two runs scored.
The teams will be back in action with game two of the weekend series set for tomorrow, Saturday, Apr. 28, at 1 p.m. on Earl Lorden Field.