Gould earns 400th victory

Eric Andrews | Echo

Head coach Kyle Gould picked up the 400th victory of his career in the Trojans’ dugout last weekend, as the baseball team earned two wins in Georgia against Toccoa Falls.

Gould entered the three-game series against Toccoa Falls in search of the milestone after he earned his 399th victory last Thursday against Reinhardt.

The Trojans lost the series opener to Toccoa Falls on Friday by a score of 7–2. Despite giving up one run in the first inning, junior pitcher Matt Patton tossed a good game for the Trojans, settling in and shutting down Toccoa Falls in the final five innings of the six he pitched.

The Trojans claimed a 2–1 lead in the third inning thanks to a two-run home run by junior Jared Adkins. The blast was Adkins’ second in as many days. The lead lasted until the seventh inning, when Toccoa Falls erupted for six runs against the Trojans’ bullpen to regain a 7–2 lead, the final of the first game of the series.

“We really didn’t give ourselves a chance in that game,” junior Sam Weise said. “(Patton) pitched very well throughout the first (six) innings, but we just couldn’t provide much support.”

With two games on Saturday ahead of the team, the Trojans hoped to rebound from their disappointing defeat on Friday to earn Gould’s 400th victory.

The first inning appeared to be a continuation of the previous day’s misfortune. Toccoa Falls’ offense fired on all cylinders to claim an early 3–0 lead. Despite the early barrage, senior pitcher Luke Hunter was not fazed, settling in nicely as the game progressed. Hunter asserted his dominance over the Toccoa Falls offense by sending 11 of the last 14 Toccoa Falls batters he faced back to the dugout.

With Hunter settled in on the mound, the Trojans’ offense was able to focus on putting runs of their own on the scoreboard. The Trojans’ bats came to life in the third inning, tallying five runs, including three from a home run by junior Tanner Watson. The Trojans tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning and one more in the seventh inning to round out the landmark 8–3 victory.

Despite accomplishing the impressive milestone, Gould pointed to the players that earned those 400 victories.

“To say it’s an award for a coach is totally missing the point,” Gould said. “If I had been playing in all of those games, we wouldn’t have won any of them.”

The Trojans continued their onslaught of Toccoa Falls in the final game of the series. Freshman Andrew Kennedy earned the win on the mound for the Trojans, while freshman Mitch Ubelhor and sophomore Zak Eckerle closed out pitching for the team.

The Taylor offense finally struck first, putting up two runs in the first inning. The Trojans then exploded for a whopping 12 runs in the third inning, largely thanks to two three-run home runs by sophomore catcher Austin Mettica. Another four runs in the sixth inning finished off an astounding 26 unanswered runs by the Taylor offense in the series.

When the final out was recorded, the Trojans had earned a convincing 18–0 victory.

“We had a good conversation after the first game on Friday, and Saturday we were able to make the necessary adjustments from there,” Weise said. “We were able to drive the ball up and down the lineup and provide our pitchers with more than enough run support to get the job done.”

The Trojans will begin a seven game stretch at home when they play their home opener today against IU-South Bend. The first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.

“Photograph provided by Fayth Glock”