Patton Fans 11 in Series-Opening Win Over Grace
UPLAND, Ind. – Matt Patton picked up a career-high 11 strikeouts over 7.1 dominant innings and Brett Lawson logged the final five outs as Taylor opened its final league series of the season with a 4-1 win over Grace on Friday afternoon.
Patton was in control throughout, needing only 99 pitches to work into the eighth inning. The junior allowed only three hits and did not walk a batter, yielding just a single run in the fifth inning and picking up his second win of the season.
Patton has now allowed only one earned run over his last 23.2 innings of work, going 2-0 with two saves in his last six outings. During that stretch, the junior has posted a 0.38 earned-run average and a 0.85 WHIP, while holding opposing bats to a .170 average and notching 31 strikeouts to just five walks and 15 hits.
Lawson followed Patton to the mound and kept the Lancer sticks quiet to notch his third save of the year. The freshman reliever held Grace scoreless over the final 1.2 innings and picked up two strikeouts.
The strong pitching was needed, as Taylor did not record its first hit until Andrew Kennedy singled in the fifth. TU finally broke up the shutout with two runs in the sixth and added two more in the seventh.
Back-to-back doubles by Tanner Watson and Nathan Targgart tied the score at 1-1 to open the bottom of the sixth, and Taylor moved in front on an RBI double from Wyatt Whitman. Adkins pushed the lead to 3-1 with an RBI double in the seventh and scored the final run on a sacrifice fly from Watson.
Seven different Trojans collected one hit in the contest, while Riley Reimschisel scored twice and stole two bases. Whitman also added two steals and Jared Adkins picked up his 30th steal to eclipse Brian Moore (2016) for the highest single-season total of head coach Kyle Gould’s time in the dugout.
Taylor (32-18, 18-7 CL) and Grace (15-29, 7-18 CL) are slated to resume the series on Saturday in a doubleheader starting at 6:00 pm under the lights at Winterholter Field.