TU Baseball Leads Nation with Four Academic All-District Honors
UPLAND, Ind. – The Taylor University baseball program picked up four College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District II awards recently, as Jared Adkins, Tanner Watson, Nathan Targgart and Rob Fox helped the Trojans lead all levels of collegiate baseball with the four awards.
Taylor claimed four of the 10 available spots on the College Division District II Team, which consisted of student-athletes at NAIA institutions from the states of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee.
Taylor now leads the entire NAIA with 22 Academic All-District nods this year, leading Morningside for the top spot by six awards to pace a group of only eight schools in the NAIA to register at least 10 honors during the 2016-2017 year.
TU baseball has now hauled in multiple CoSIDA Academic All-District awards in seven-straight years, racking up 19 honors during that time. The Trojans have had plenty of on-field success over those seven years as well, averaging 36 victories and claiming four conference championships along with three NAIA National Tournament appearances over that stretch.
The CoSIDA Academic All-District award is designed to recognize student-athletes for outstanding achievements in the classroom, as well as on the field of play. In order to be eligible for the honor, an athlete must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.30 or higher on a 4.0 scale, have reached sophomore status academically and have participated as a key contributor during the current season.
Adkins added the Academic All-District award to his recent Crossroads League Player-of-the-Year honor with a cumulative 3.90 grade-point average in exercise science. The junior second baseman batted .333 to go with 16 home runs, three triples, 16 doubles, 74 runs scored and 33 stolen bases in 35 attempts.
Watson repeated as a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection in his second year of eligibility with a cumulative 3.79 GPA in finance. The junior catcher and outfielder hit .366 with 27 extra-base hits, 55 runs batted in and seven stolen bases, while pushing the average to .406 with a .604 slugging in 27 league games.
Targgart earned the Academic All-District award in his first year of eligibility as the lone sophomore to make the College Division District II list with a 3.46 cumulative gpa in finance. The second-year third baseman led Taylor with a career-best .410 batting average, while clubbing 26 doubles and 10 home runs.
Fox joined Watson in adding a second CoSIDA Academic All-District nod in as many years with a 3.95 cumulative grade-point average in accounting. The junior relief ace worked in a team-best 24 contests out of the bullpen, picking up two wins and holding foes to a .247 average overall and a .189 clip in league outings.
Adkins, Watson, Targgart and Fox boost Taylor University’s total number of student-athletes to receive Academic All-District honors during the 2016-2017 year to 22, with five having advanced so far to claim CoSIDA Academic All-America recognition. The quartet will look to increase that tally when the CoSIDA Baseball Academic All-America Team is announced on May 30.