Trojans Win Wild Affair with Lane Walk-Off Double
JUPITER, Fla. – Josh Lane’s two-run double in the bottom of the ninth capped a comeback win for Taylor, as the Trojans rallied late for an 8-7 win in their series opener with Ave Maria at the Roger Dean Stadium Complex.
All 15 runs in the game were scored in the final four innings, after the two squads battled through five crisp frames gridlocked at 0-0. Matt Patton faced the minimum through his five-inning start, holding Ave Maria (0-1) scoreless on just two hits, while striking out six.
Tanner Watson ignited the offensive outburst in the bottom of the sixth with a leadoff double and Wyatt Whitman followed a Nathan Targgart single with a two-run triple to put TU on the board. Sam Wiese brought in Whitman with a single to give Taylor the 3-0 lead.
The advantage grew to 4-0 with another tally in the seventh, when TU scored with a run being forced in on back-to-back hit batters, but the Gyrenes washed away the lead with a seven-run rally in the top of the eighth.
The Trojan bats got back to work in the bottom half, with Lane opening the frame with a single and swiping second, before four-straight walks pushed in two more runs to bring TU within 8-7 after eight frames.
It remained a one-run game as the teams opened the bottom of the ninth, but one-out singles from Austin Mettica and Brett Lawson put Trojans on the corners for Lane, who delivered the game-winning double down the left field line.
Lane ended the game with two hits, a run scored and two runs driven in, while Whitman finished 2-3 with a triple and a pair of RBI. Cody Tait also collected two hits for his first multi-hit showing and Targgart stayed locked in with three more hits in four at bats.
Brenden Bube got Taylor out of trouble in the eighth inning and worked a scoreless ninth to collect his first collegiate victory after tossing two strikeouts in the two innings.
Taylor (3-1) and Ave Maria (0-1) will play a pair of seven-inning games on Saturday, with the doubleheader slated to start at noon.