Offensive Outpouring Leads to a Commanding TU Series Win

WINONA LAKE, Ind. RV Taylor and Grace were back in action on Thursday, when the Trojans peppered 10 home runs along the way to outscoring their host by a total score of 40-5. The Trojans ran away with the first game, ending the game early with a 27-5 win before taking game two by a final score of 13-0.


Kade Vander Molen played a monster role in the Trojan offensive attack throughout the day, totaling six hits, including three home runs and two doubles, all of which culminated in 11 runs-batted-in in just 14 innings of play.


Vander Molen posted a career-best four hits and eight RBI in game one, a game in which the Trojan lineup tallied an absurd total of seven home runs. TJ Bass and Luke Picchiotti matched Vander Molen with two home runs apiece, while Ben Kalbaugh added one of his own to round out the Taylor home run total.


The Trojans combined for 21 hits, 13 of which went for extra bases, and added 11 walks and three hit-by-pitches. 17 of TU’s 27 runs came in the fourth and fifth innings, kickstarted by a fourth frame in which Taylor sent 11-straight batters to the dish before recording the first out of the inning.


In the fifth inning, Picchiotti pulled off the remarkable feat of homering twice in one inning, the first to start the inning and the second a three-run bomb to right field that capped an eight-run offensive surge.


The Trojan pitching staff, meanwhile, allowed just one earned run throughout the game. Starter, Dalton Swinehart, was the recipient of four bad-luck runs in the first inning, thanks to a pair of Trojan defensive miscues. Afterward, however, Swinehart rode the waves of his run protection, finishing his day after three innings of play before Conner Miller, Gage Gongwer, and Jacob Boyer carried the Trojans home.


Picchiotti managed just an RBI-double in game two, while Vander Molen unleashed for his third home run of the day with a three-run blast in the fifth inning, which served as the 40th-and-final Trojan run of the day.


At that point, Taylor was up 13-0 over the Lancers, as Gabel Pentecost calmly navigated three scoreless innings of work on the mound before Nick Crabtree tossed a scoreless fourth. From there, Jack Ross and Jared Crandall completed the TU shutout, its second in as many days.


Thanks to his monster day at the plate, Vander Molen now boasts six home runs and a team-best 30 RBI for the season, each of which rank near the top of the league’s leaders.


RV Taylor (17-9, 10-2 CL) now finds itself back at the top of the Crossroads League standings, poised for a significant matchup with Mount Vernon Nazarene (7-6, 4-3 CL) on the road next weekend, March 24-25.