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Sports

Baseball: Temple U’s Ferguson Makes History On The Diamond

(Ryan Ferguson rounds the bases.  File photo, by Mitchell Leff, provided)

(Ryan Ferguson rounds the bases. File photo, by Mitchell Leff, provided)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The Temple University baseball team has enjoyed a successful season thus far, especially at the plate, where they have spent much of the campaign leading the nation in hitting.  One of the key cogs in this potent lineup is senior Ryan Ferguson, who recently set the Temple record with a 26-game hitting streak.

Ferguson’s streak actually started about a year ago when he got knocks in the last two games of the 2010 campaign.  Then he started this season hot and marched towards the record book.

“It (the record) came to my attention, probably about the 24th game or so, that I was coming upon the record,” he recalls.  “And I really had no idea that I was even close — I didn’t know what the record was.  I was just focused on trying to get hits every time I was up.”

Hear Matt Leon’s full interview with Ryan Ferguson in this CBS Philly SportsPod…

Ferguson tied the record on April 1st with a first-inning single in a 9-1 loss to Dayton, setting the stage for history to be made the next day against the Flyers.  But it looked like Ferguson might have to settle with tying the record as he sat 0-3 with a sacrifice fly late in the game.

However,  Temple kicked up a 9th inning fuss allowing Ferguson to get one last plate appearance, and he didn’t disappoint, singling to left to break the record.

“I knew that that was probably my last at-bat in that game so I just kind of relaxed, swung the bat pretty well, and I just put a good swing on it.  So it was just a matter of relaxing at the plate and doing what I’ve been doing,” he said.

Ferguson’s streak would come to an end the next day.   Ironically, he was shut out in a game in which Temple scored 17 runs and banged out 16 hits, going 0-6 with an RBI.

Regardless, Ferguson now stands alone with this impressive record, his streak one game longer than the 25-gamer that the Owls’ Mike Burton put together in 1989.

So, has the accomplishment sunk in with Ferguson?

“I think (it will) once the season is over,” he says.  “It really hasn’t hit me that much yet.  I’m just trying to keep on doing what I’ve been doing.  My parents and friends have all been so very pleased with how I’ve been playing and the accomplishment.  But honestly it hasn’t hit me yet.”

Ferguson, who plays several different positions in the field, is hitting .371 this season for the Owls and leads the team with seven home runs and 37 RBI.

As an example of just how dangerous this Temple lineup is, Ferguson’s .371 average places him fifth on the team.

Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060

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