Mettica Blasts Walk-Off to Highlight TU Sweep of Lancers
UPLAND, Ind. – Austin Mettica’s walk-off, extra-inning home run sealed a thrilling, 12-11, comeback win for Taylor in Monday’s opener against Grace, before the Trojans completed the sweep with a 19-1 rout under the Winterholter Field lights in game two.
Taylor trailed by a 9-1 deficit in the fifth inning of Monday’s opener, which was scheduled for seven frames. Andrew Kennedy opened the bottom half of the inning with a solo home run and Tanner Watson followed with a three-run shot to trim the gap to 9-5. Run-scoring doubles from Sam Wiese and Wyatt Whitman later in the inning drew TU within a single run and Brian Fields erased the deficit with an RBI double to plate Whitman.
Grace (15-31, 7-20 CL) reclaimed an 11-9 lead with two in the top of the sixth but the Trojans strung together three-straight, two-out hits in the bottom half to battle back even once again. Nathan Targgart started the rally with a solo home run, before Austin Mettica doubled and Wiese tied the game at 11-11 with an RBI single.
The game stayed locked at 11-11 into the bottom of the eighth, until Mettica roped the game-winning blast over the fence in right for the 12-11 win.
Brett Lawson and Mitch Ubelhor pitched well for Taylor in relief, as Lawson tossed a scoreless frame and Ubelhor collected his first collegiate win with four strikeouts over two dominant innings to close the contest.
Taylor took all the drama out of the game early into the nigthcap, as TU’s first six batters hit safely to ignite a seven-run rally. The Trojans eventually put 19 runs on the board on 20 hits in the contest, adding three more home runs off the bats of Jared Adkins, Whitman and Lawson.
Luke Hunter, Colin Eggleson and Brian Fields combined for 10 strikeouts in the seven-inning route, with Eggleson improving to 5-0 on the bump this season after holding GC to one hit in three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win.
On the day, the Taylor bats pounded out 15 extra-base hits with 31 total hits and 31 runs scored. Wiese, Watson and Mettica all collected four hits, while Whitman drove in six runs and Adkins scored four times.
Taylor (34-18, 20-7 CL) clinched the second seed in the upcoming Crossroads League Tournament with the two victories and will close the regular season on Tuesday at 5:00 pm with a non-league home affair against No. 25 IU Southeast (42-11).