Baseball beginning to hit their stride

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Eric Andrews | Echo

The (RV) Taylor baseball team picked up four wins this week, including two against Goshen, one against Spring Arbor and one against Huntington.

The victories improve the Trojans’ season record to 36–12 overall and 16–7 in Crossroads League play.

Following a 4–3 loss to Goshen on April 20, the Trojans rebounded with a pair of wins on April 21 against the Maple Leafs, winning the games 4–1 and 8–2, respectively.

Freshman pitcher Luke Shively controlled game one of the doubleheader, going nearly five innings before allowing a hit. Shively recorded a career-high eight strikeouts in the outing.

“I love our (pitching) staff this year,” said junior outfielder Wyatt Whitman. “They’ve worked really really hard coming into the year. I know that they really wanted to be locked (in), and they’ve done a great job of that. Luke especially, as a freshman, it’s great to have him. . . . We’ve had a good, deep pitching staff all year, and it’s definitely helped us out in some close games.”

In game two, senior outfielders Jared Adkins and Sam Wiese led the charge offensively, each knocking in two runs, while junior shortstop Josh Lane scored two runs.

The Trojans carried their momentum into a matchup on Tuesday, April 24 against Spring Arbor. Taylor got off to a hit start, thanks to leadoff home run from Whitman. Junior first baseman Nathan Targgart knocked a double, and then scored on an RBI single from Wiese later in the inning to put Taylor up 2–0. The Trojans tallied again in the third inning, extending the lead to 3–0.

However, the Cougars hung around, taking advantage of their opportunities. Spring Arbor scored twice in the third and then took advantage of a Taylor error in the eighth inning to knot the score at 3 runs apiece. A scoreless ninth inning sent the game to extra innings.

The Trojan bats exploded for three runs in the tenth inning, and sophomore pitcher Mitch Ubelhor cruised through the Cougar batters to secure a 6–3 win.

Taylor then split a doubleheader with Huntington on April 25, taking game one, 7–2, before dropping game two, 3–2.

Junior pitcher Clay Riggins tossed a complete game in game one, chopping down Huntington’s offense. Taylor matched their 10 hit performance in game two, but could not capitalize on their opportunities, only generating two runs.

The Trojans currently sit in third place in the Crossroads League entering the final week of the regular season. The Trojans will host Saint Francis for a trio of games, with game one slated for a 6 p.m. first pitch tonight and a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. on April 28.

Taylor will wrap up the regular season with games against Grace on the road and Manchester at home on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. The Crossroads League Tournament will begin Friday, May 4.

“Photograph by Brad Timmerman”