Trojans Poised for Run in 2018 Crossroads League Tournament
UPLAND, Ind. – Fresh off setting a Taylor baseball program record with 41 regular season victories, the Trojans will look to add to that total when they host the 2018 Crossroads League Tournament at Winterholter Field on May 4 through May 9.
TU will enter the eight-team, double-elimination tournament as the No. 2 seed, after going 20-7 during the Crossroads League portion of the schedule. Taylor has won the league tournament in 2016, 2013, 2009 and 2006 and is in search of its eighth Crossroads League Championship in head coach Kyle Gould’s 14-year tenure in the dugout.
The Trojans boast the firepower throughout the roster to make a deep tournament run. TU has crafted one of its best seasons ever on the mound and currently ranks No. 3 in the NAIA in earned-run average (2.77), No. 12 in opponent batting average (.231) and No. 13 in batters struck out (428), all while backing up that tremendous pitching with the nation’s fifth-best fielding percentage (.973).
Senior ace, Matt Patton, has led the staff all season and enters the tournament among the NAIA’s finest with a 10-3 record, a 2.09 ERA, a .218 average against and a pristine 91-to-six, strikeout-to-walk ratio over 82 innings of work.
Taylor boasts 13 hurlers with sub 4.00 ERA’s on its staff and seven pitchers with sub-3.00 marks against league bats, showcasing a deep and talented staff capable of covering innings throughout the postseason.
While the pitching and defense have been staples of TU’s best regular season in program history, the vaunted Trojan offense has come to life down the stretch and will enter the league tournament rated No. 9 in the NAIA in stolen bases (125), No. 9 in doubles (115), No. 14 in hits (552), No. 17 in batting average (.331) and No. 22 in runs scored (389).
Returning NAIA All-American, Nathan Targgart, has served as the anchor for the lineup, hitting .411 with 19 doubles and 56 runs batted in from the third spot in an order that features seven regular starters hitting over the .320 mark.
Taylor will open up its time in the CL Tournament on Friday at 1:00 pm against seventh-seeded Mount Vernon Nazarene (23-24). With a win, TU would advance into Saturday’s 1:00 pm clash against the winner of third-seeded Huntington (18-22) and sixth-seeded Goshen (22-27). With a loss, the Trojans would play the loser of HU and GC at 10:00 am on Saturday.
All games in the tournament are scheduled for nine innings and will be streamed live and in HD on the Trojan Sports Network, with all Taylor games also streaming on all TU Athletics social media accounts.
Fans can view a full tournament schedule and track tournament stats, by visiting the Crossroads League’s Championship Central on www.crossroadsleague.com.
Tickets for each day cost $5 for adults and $2 for students. Taylor students with TU identification will be admitted at no cost, as well as all children ages six and under.