Matt Csakai | Echo
Sports require hard work. When you put in a lot of work, there are usually plenty of good things that come about. Positive results are one of those things, and they have come for the Taylor baseball team this year.
This postseason, the NAIA National Championship Opening Round will be hosted in Upland. The team is very eager to host the tournament here in Upland, and they are honored to have been chosen to host. The Trojans realize part of the reason they are hosting is because of the successful season they had this year.
"Being able to host the national tournament is a tremendous honor for Taylor as a baseball program and a university," said senior pitcher Rob Fox. "Being able to do so means that the national committee felt that we had a season worthy of gaining an at-large bid in the tournament, and we feel pretty honored that they felt that way."
Their success has shown throughout the season, as the team has managed to string together a series of multi-game winning streaks.
There have been games of ridiculously high scores, like on May 4 against Mount Vernon Nazarene, when Taylor won 19-1 in their first game of the Crossroads League Tournament.
This continued a trend of wins by large margins for the Trojans, who also won their previous three games by scores of 15-0, 24-8, and 14-4.
"We've really discovered what makes us successful as a team and have worked hard to make those skills even better strengths," Fox said. "Our belief in each other as teammates grows each game, as we always know the next guy up is capable of making that winning play."
However, in the beginning of the postseason the offense seemed to disappear. The first three games of the Crossroads Tournament, Taylor scored four, zero and one run respectively.
This creates some worry as the team heads into the National Tournament, but, with a record of 43-14, this team fights hard and is capable of making a deep run in this tournament if they perform like they have been all season.
"I felt like we put forth a solid effort in the Crossroads (T)ournament this year. We were disappointed not to be able to win it, but we felt the experience in that type of environment will prepare us well to play in the national tournament," Fox said.
The NAIA National Championship Opening Round will be held from May 14-17.
"Photograph by Brad Timmerman"