Taylor Suffers First Home Losses of Season
UPLAND, Ind. – After winning 20-straight games at Winterholter Field to open the season, Taylor dropped a pair of contests to Saint Francis on Friday, falling 8-7 and 6-1 to the visiting Cougars.
The Trojans were one pitch away from holding on for a 7-6 win in the opener, but a ball bounced away on a swinging third strike that would have ended the contest and the USF runner reached safely to extend the game. Saint Francis took full advantage of its extra opportunity, as the next batter cleared the fences in center field on a two-strike pitch to put the Cougars on top.
TU looked to be in good shape after striking for two in the first and four more in the fourth to take a 6-3 lead, but USF scored in four of the final five frames to rally for the win.
TJ Bass and Jacob Morris highlighted the offense for the Trojans in the opener, with Bass doubling and knocking in three and Morris collecting two hits, two runs and two RBI. Nick Rusche reached safely four times from the leadoff slot and scored twice.
Joe Moran worked five innings on the hill for TU, exiting in line for his eighth win of the season. The senior fanned seven to move to 101 strikeouts on the season and joined Matt Patton (102 in 2018) as the only two hurlers in program history to whiff at least 100 batters in a season.
Not much went right for Taylor after the USF blast in the ninth of game one, as the Cougars’ fourth homer of the day put TU in a 2-0 deficit in the third inning and Saint Francis runs in each of the final three frames extended the margin to its final of 6-1.
The Taylor lineup could not get anything going, managing only one unearned run on two hits in the game.
No 21 Taylor (33-14, 22-8 CL) and Saint Francis (30-16, 20-10 CL) are set to finish their four-game series with another doubleheader on Saturday. First pitch is slated for 1:00 pm at Winterholter Field.