The Taylor baseball team swept their second straight four-game series, after beating Bethel University.
They had a doubleheader on March 12, defeating the Pilots 6–0 in the first game and
1–0 in the second. They followed up those two victories with another two the next day, beating the Pilots again, by scores of 7–1 and 8–5.
“The strength of the (Bethel) bullpen is good,” Head Coach Kyle Gould said. “We knew that if we could get into the bullpen, there would be a drop-off. That was the strategy, and we were able to get a lot of runs late, this team is really talented, they care a lot about each other, and they care a lot about baseball.”
“We did a really good job of staying locked in and staying focused,” said senior Joe Moran.
Moran kickstarted the series with a dominant first game. He pitched seven shutout innings, while only allowing six hits and one walk. He also hit a solo home run, along with a two-run homer in the ninth, doubling the Trojans’ score.
“We were in control of that game from the jump,” he said.
That game set the tone for the rest of the series.
Moran, a senior transfer, originally played his first three years of collegiate baseball at Anderson University. His first year as a Trojan has been a very solid year. He is second in the NAIA in strikeouts and has gotten the team off to good starts early in the game.
As a pitcher, he’s 5–2. He’s given up 32 hits, 11 runs, eight earned runs and one home run, all in 39.1 innings pitched.
As a hitter, he’s accumulated 15 hits, 11 runs, four home runs, 11 RBIs, 16 walks and 22 strikeouts in 71 at-bats. He has performed well both offensively and defensively.
Gould attributes the team’s success to the pitching that they have had.
“Our pitching has been so good all year,” Gould said. “ We are top 5 in the NAIA in ERA, top 3 in strikeouts … Our bullpen has been dominant.”
At least 15 pitchers make up the Trojan bullpen, all who contributed in some way to the success of the team.
He referenced not only Moran, but junior Noah Huseman and senior Luke Shively. Huseman has had statistically the best season so far. His pitching has been very solid to complement Moran.
In the last game of the series against Bethel, Shively did not give up any hits – only one run.
“Top through bottom, (the pitchers) have all really stepped up,” Shively said. “We have taken advantage of other teams' mistakes and capitalized on that. We have put pressure on their defense and just scored when we needed to.”
Shively said that he has a lot of confidence in himself and the work that he has put in. He wants to perform well for the team.
The trio of Moran, Shively and Gould have expressed their belief in this team making the World Series. With the run that they are currently going on, that hope still looks to be alive. Heading into last weekend’s series against Mount Vernon, the Trojans had a 19–6 record. They were 8–0 in conference play and 11-6 in away games.
The sweep of Bethel continued a 12-game win streak for Taylor.