Temple Rallies Past UMass Baseball, 8-4
April 28, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass baseball team came from behind to take the lead in the bottom of the seventh, but Temple responded with a rally of its own, scoring five in the final two innings to claim an 8-4 victory at Earl Lorden Field on Saturday afternoon. Falling to 15-16 on the year, the Minutemen are now 8-6 in Atlantic 10 play, while the Owls move to 16-26 overall and 4-10 in conference games.
After an inning-opening strikeout, four straight singles by Temple in the bottom of the second produced the first two runs of the afternoon. Matt Elko and Allen Stiles each collected an RBI to give the Owls a 2-0 lead.
Temple then expanded its advantage to 3-0 in the fifth. Elko led off with an infield hit, went to third on a single through the right side by Stiles and scored on an RBI groundout by Foster Dunigan.
After being held to just one hit through the first four innings, UMass managed to capitalize on a miscue by Owls to get on the board in the bottom of the fifth. Sophomore Dylan Begin dropped a one-out single into right center, went to second on a single by junior Rich Graef and to third on an error that extended the inning. The next batter, sophomore Kyle Adie, drew a bases loaded walk to force in the run.
Another Temple error in the bottom of the sixth helped the Minutemen cut the deficit to 3-2. Conley led off the inning with a ground ball up the left field line that went through the legs of Owls' third baseman Steve Nikorak for a two-base error. Conley advanced to third on a ground ball by sophomore Alex Tuneski and came in on an RBI single to right by sophomore Nik Campero. Two more singles by sophomore Nick Sanford and Graef followed with two away, but UMass stranded the bases loaded.
The following inning ,the Minutemen pulled in front for the first time in the contest. Aide led off the seventh with a single through the right side and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior Anthony Serino. Conley drew a walk and, with two outs, Campero plated the pair to put UMass on top, 4-3.
However, Temple responded by retaking the lead with one swing of the bat in its next trip to the plate. Following a single by the leadoff batter, Dunigan, Nikorak homered to right to give the Owls a 5-4 lead. Elijah Yarborough drew a walk with one away and later came home for an insurance run on a single up the middle by Jabair Khan.
Temple tacked on two more in the ninth courtesy of a bases loaded walk to Yarborough and an RBI single off the bat of Henry Knabe.
Starter Glen Misho threw eight innings and allowed six runs on 13 hits, taking the loss (1-5) for UMass. He walked one and struck out four.
Reliever Steve Visnic picked up the win (3-1) for the Owls as he tossed two-thirds of an inning and allowed one run on one hit and walked one. Brian Sustersic retired all six he faced in the eighth and ninth and fanned three to log his sixth save of the year.
Campero finished 2-for-4 on he afternoon for the Minutemen with three RBI, while Graef was 2-for-4, as well, contributing to UMass' total of eight hits on the afternoon.
Taylor Juran paced Temple with a 3-for-5 afternoon and scored a run, while Nikorak drove in two and scored twice.
The teams will conclude the weekend series with game three tomorrow, Apr. 29, at noon.