Trojans Eliminate IWU Before Falling to Knights
UPLAND, Ind. – A record-setting season came to a disappointing finish on Monday night for the Taylor baseball team, as the Trojans were eliminated from the Crossroads League Tournament by Marian just hours after handing Indiana Wesleyan the same fate.
The Trojans bolted to a 10-0 lead after four innings in their first elimination contest of the day, and went on to dispatch IWU (27-30) by a 10-4 margin to advance into the evening clash with MU (27-20).
Taylor pounded out 10 runs on 18 hits against Indiana Wesleyan, getting home runs from Jared Adkins and Nathan Targgart to highlight the rout. TU scored three in the first, four in the third and three more in the fourth to control the game throughout.
The heart of the lineup combined for nine hits and six runs, as Targgart, Austin Mettica and Sam Wiese each had three hits from the middle three slots of the order. Targgart and Wyatt Whitman each drove in three runs, while Tanner Watson tripled and Targgart and Josh Lane doubled.
Luke Hunter (5-3) took care of business on the mound in his final collegiate start, going all nine innings and striking out nine in a vintage performance from the senior ace. Hunter needed 117 pitches to finish the nine frames, allowing only six hits and one walk in the victory. The complete game was Hunter’s first of the season and the 11th of his career, while the win was the 20th career collegiate victory for the righty.
In the nightcap, TU erased an early three-run deficit with two runs in the fourth and a single tally in the fifth but Marian scored 10-unanswered runs over the next three innings to end the Trojans’ campaign with a 13-3 decision.
Adkins, Mettica and Andrew Kennedy each doubled for Taylor’s lone extra-base hits of the game, while Kennedy, Wiese and Mettica each had two hits.
Targgart collected an RBI single in the fifth for his 94th hit of the season and surpassed Paul Passiales’ previous record of 93 knocks set back in 2009.
Targgart also closed the season with 26 doubles for TU’s highest single-season mark, while Adkins notched program-bests with 16 home runs and 33 stolen bases.
Taylor closes the 2017 campaign at 35-21 overall, posting a ninth-straight year of at least 32 wins. The Trojans set program records in runs scored, hits, doubles, home runs, runs batted in, slugging percentage and stolen bases and are set to return every position player for the 2018 campaign.
The Trojans will graduate four senior pitchers in Hunter, Jordan Crabb, Logan Rodgers and Colin Eggleson. The group helped Taylor to 141 wins over the past four years, including a program-best 40 victories in 2016.