Extra Inning Heroics Lead Bonnies To Walk-Off Win
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – A walk-off double from junior Eric Jutca in the bottom of the 11th inning Saturday lifted the St. Bonaventure Bonnies (20-23, 8-13 Atlantic 10 Conference) to victory over Temple (19-31, 7-14) in their final home series of the season.
The Bonnies took two of three games in the series against the Owls, which saw both teams score a combined 57 runs.
After Temple's Elijah Yarborough put Temple ahead 8-6 with a two-run double in the top of the 11th, the Bonnies mounted a comeback to tie the game courtesy of junior Austin Ingraham's two-run home run to center field. Sophomore Justin Brozick reached base with a single and advanced when senior Nick Brennan was hit-by-pitch the following at-bat. Jutca then laced a double to the left center gap off Temple's Brian Sustersic to bring around Brozick for the winning run.
In his seventh start of the season, third A-10, sophomore Asa Johnson settled down after the first inning and didn't allow a Temple run until the fifth through 7.1 innings of work. However, the right hander was still charged for six runs, all earned, and ten hits.
In the home fourth, Brennan singled in Ingraham to tie the game at two, however Temple stormed back to take a 4-2 lead the following frame when Steve Nikorak laced a two-run double to center, scoring Yarborough and leadoff man Jordan Queja.
In the sixth, with one swing of the bat, Skellie made it a one run game with a home run to left field. It was the Erie, Pa native's team-leading third homer of the season to go along with a .313 batting average. Ingraham continued his hot day at the plate with a triple to left center, but the Bonnies couldn't capitalize due to a Brozick strikeout and Brennan's pop out to the catcher.
Entering the contest, Temple starter Patrick Peterson held a 3.07 ERA, which is best among Temple starters. He had struck out a team-best 58, adding seven more to that total today through seven innings of work.
Peterson would exit the game after the seventh inning, which saw the Bonnies plate three runs on two hits and two Owls errors. Sophomore Brian Weightman came around to score on Radwan's first triple of the campaign. Skellie followed with a run scoring single to center, bringing home Radwan, for the 5-4 lead. The Bonnies added another run in the frame when Temple's errant throw to first on the back end of a double play scored junior Billy Urban.
Temple responded in the eighth off senior pitcher Cael Johnson, his second appearance in as many days, when Foster Dunigan came around to score on Taylor Juran's single. Elko then scored on JaBair Kahn's single. While attempting to come home on a wild pitch during the next at-bat, Juran was thrown out at the plate and subsequently thrown out of the game for arguing.
Jason Radwan, who picked up the win, came in the eighth and shut down the Owls through three consecutive frames. While not allowing a run during those innings, Radwan yielded just three hits.
The Bonnies made a threat in the ninth as three consecutive singles from Urban, Skellie and Grieco loaded the bases with one out. However, Temple's Eric Peterson sneaked out of trouble by inducing a lineout and fielder's choice.
Temple finally broke through in the 11th when an attempted throw from Grieco to catch Temple's Allen Stiles stealing sailed wide. Stiles advanced to third and Yarborough's two-run single scored Queja and Stiles for the 8-6 lead.
In addition to Jutca's walk-off hit for the Bonnies, Ingraham's home run was his third of the season and second this series.
The Bonnies battle the University at Buffalo on Tuesday in a doubleheader before heading to Charlotte for its regular season finale.
GAME NOTES: The Bonnies said goodbye to six seniors in an on-field ceremony following the game: Michael Grieco, Ryan Skellie, Cael Johnson, Nick Brennen, Jordan Crane and Michael Pease … The game saw a pair of brothers replace each other on the mound in consecutive innings. St. Bonaventure senior pitcher Cael Johnson replaced younger brother Asa, who started for the Bonnies, in the seventh. Temple reliever Eric Peterson took the place of twin brother, and today's starter, Patrick in the eighth.