UPLAND, Ind. – Taylor and IU Kokomo combined for 30 runs on 38 hits during 14 innings in blustery conditions on Tuesday, with the Trojans coming away with the sweep via 8-7 and 9-6 victories at Winterholter Field.
The offenses were clicking from the start, after Taylor scored three times in the bottom of the first inning. The Trojans posted two outs on five pitches, before Nathan Targgart doubled, Tanner Watson singled and Andrew Kennedy lofted a towering three-run homer to left field for the early 3-0 edge.
The Cougars (7-10) responded with solo dingers in the third and fourth innings, while drawing even at 3-3, but Taylor scored five runs on six hits in the sixth inning to reclaim the lead and held off a two-out rally from the guests in the seventh to secure the win.
Targgart, Watson and Jared Adkins each had two hits to collect six-of-10 knocks in the game for the Trojans. Adkins and Targgart each doubled to go with Kennedy’s home run for TU’s three extra-base hits and Targgart, Kyle Kelsheimer and Kennedy all scored two runs.
Luke Shively (3-0) was credited with the win in relief after collecting eight outs out of the bullpen before falling into trouble with two outs in the seventh. Trevor Booth entered for the final out to record his first save of his career.
The second game followed a similar script, as Taylor again struck for three runs in the opening frame after two outs were on the board. This time it was Adkins putting TU in front with a bases-loaded double for the 3-0 advantage.
Wyatt Whitman’s leadoff triple in the third led to a go-ahead score and the junior left fielder cut down a Cougar at the plate in the fifth to end an IU Kokomo rally that had put TU in a 5-4 deficit.
Taylor used another two-out rally in the fifth, following an error with RBI doubles from Brett Lawson and Christian McGill to take a 7-5 lead, before Targgart and Mettica delivered run-scoring doubles in the sixth to extend the gap to 9-6.
TU collected seven extra-base hits in the finale, led by two doubles from Lawson and the triple from Whitman. Lawson turned in Taylor’s lone multi-hit showing, as nine different Trojans found the hit column and eight scored at least one run. Targgart and McGill each drove in two runs, while Adkins led the way with three RBI.
Five hurlers combined to record the 21 outs for Taylor, with Brenden Bube (1-0) notching his first collegiate victory and Mitch Ubelhor registering his first save of the season.
Taylor (15-5) has now won nine-of-10 games on its home turf this season and is scheduled to host Manchester for a single game on Wednesday at 6 p.m., before welcoming Oakland City and Viterbo to Upland over the weekend