Patton Heralded as NAIA Second-Team All-American
KANSAS CITY – For the third-straight year, the Taylor University baseball program picked up an NAIA All-American honor, as senior pitcher Matt Patton was named a 2018 NAIA Second-Team All-American on Tuesday.
Patton saved his best for last, posting a career year on the mound during his final collegiate campaign. The righty piled up 96.2 innings over 19 appearances and started 17 games, while going 10-3 with a 1.86 earned-run average and .211 average against. Patton fanned 102 hitters, allowed only 10 walks and 75 hits and tossed a pair of complete-game shutouts for the Trojans.
The Wolcottville, Indiana native set TU’s single-season record with the 102 strikeouts, becoming the only hurler in program history to surpass the century mark in that statistic, and tied the program’s single-season mark with 10 victories.
Patton ended the 2018 season rated No. 5 in the NAIA in walks allowed per nine innings (0.93), No. 8 in ERA (1.86), No. 11 in walks allowed (10), No. 17 in wins (10), No. 17 in total runs allowed (25), No. 25 in innings pitched (96.2), No. 26 in earned runs allowed (20), No. 33 in average against (.211) and No. 36 in hits allowed per nine innings (6.98).
The stats and accomplishments led to a host of accolades for Patton throughout the season, as the senior ace picked up Crossroads League Pitcher-of-the-Year, First-Team All-Crossroads League, NAIA Scholar-Athlete, CoSIDA Google Cloud Academic First-Team All-District and First-Team All-America honors, while also notching four CL Pitcher-of-the-Week awards.
In addition to becoming the first Second-Team All-American in the history of the Taylor baseball program, Patton joined Rhett Goodmiller as the only TU baseball players to receive NAIA All-American and CoSIDA Academic All-American honors. TU now boasts six NAIA All-American honors in the past eight years, with four of those honors coming over the past three seasons.
Patton’s work on the bump helped Taylor set a program record with a 44-16 overall mark during 2018. The squad followed the lead of Patton to post the best pitching line of Kyle Gould’s 14-year tenure with the program, notching a 2.86 ERA, a .229 average against and 482 strikeouts in 481.2 innings.