PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. - Behind seven strong innings of work from redshirt-junior Steve Nikorak, the Temple baseball team earned a 6-1 win over city-rival Villanova on Tuesday afternoon at Villanova Ballpark. The Owls, now 22-24 overall, secured a season series split with the Wildcats, who fall to 17-29 on the year.
Nikorak was masterful in the start, tossing six-straight shutout frames before Villanova was able to pull a run out of him. The Stroudsburg, Pa., scattered six hits and walked one, striking out three. Junior Jimmy Devine tossed the final two innings scoreless to solidify the win, giving up one hit and no runs.
Freshman Will Remillard drove in three runs to propel the Temple offense, going two-for-four with a stolen base in the contest. Senior Ben Flanary recorded the only extra base hit of the game for either side, driving in a pair of runs on a double.
A five-run fourth from the Owls broke the game open, chasing Villanova starter Jerry Battipaglia who was credited with all five runs. Senior Adrian Perez led off the frame with a single to center, moving to second on a walk to senior Ryan Ferguson. Sophomore Daniel Dragos did a job and moved the runners up one base on a sacrifice bunt, setting up an RBI-single by Remillard. Remillard moved to third as junior Cameron Green reached base on a fielder's choice that scored Ferguson, with Flanary stepping in and ripping a double to left center. Sophomore Elijah Yarborough came up as the next batter and sent a single into center which plated Flanary for a 5-0 Owls' lead.
Temple picked up on emore in the fifth as Dragos hit a two-out single to start things off, stealing second to get in scoring position. Remillard came up with a clutch single through the right side to plate Dragos, increasing the Temple lead to 6-0.
Villanova was able to grab a run in the seventh, but Nikorak worked his way out of the frame and handed things over to Devine. Devine got through the eighth not allowing a hit, cruising through the Wildcats in the ninth to lock up a 6-1 win for Temple.
Temple returns to action tomorrow as the Owls travel to Delaware for a 3:00 p.m. meeting.