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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Echo
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Trojan baseball on a tear in conference

Conference battle for first is tight

Taylor baseball has been red hot as of late, winning 13 of 15 games between March 15 and April 10. They have swept Bethel University, Mount Vernon Nazarene University and only lost two games to Huntington University. 

While Taylor has had success against their opponents, they have had some extremely close games. In Taylor’s home game versus Huntington on March 30, they had to overcome a 4-0 deficit to start the first inning, but Taylor came back and won the game 15-11. 

Great pitching has been vital for Taylor’s success this year. Starting junior pitcher Alec Holcomb has been lights out on the mound for the Trojans this season. He has already pitched well over double the amount of innings from last year and has done well despite taking on a larger workload.

Holcomb has an ERA of 3.06 and opponents’ batting average is at a measly .244. Holcomb has also already notched 52 strikeouts, crushing his old season high of 18. 

Freshman shortstop Ben Kennedy has also played well for the Trojans this season. Kennedy has made the transition from high school baseball to college baseball look easy. 

“(It’s) so much more competitive and everyone has a higher drive to win,” Kennedy said. “You can tell that everyone wants to be here and everyone loves the game.”

His batting average sits at .269, and he has 2 home runs to his name. But the stat that grabs attention is his walks. Kennedy has been able to draw 11 walks so far this season. His plate vision is very good for a player so young.

Another player that has shined for the Trojans this year is 5th year senior outfielder T.J. Bass. The long ball has been Bass’ specialty this season. He is currently tied for first in home runs in the Crossroads league. 

He also has a batting average of .285. Whenever Taylor has needed run support, Bass has been there to provide it all year long.

Sophomore outfielder Kaleb Kolpien has been a key offensive piece for the Trojans this season. His batting average is through the roof currently at .414. This is a large improvement on his batting average from last year, which was .387. 

His on base percentage is exceptional as well sitting at .468. Kaleb has been one of Taylor’s marquee players this season coming up big in clutch moments. 

Taylor has been extremely competitive this season. They are currently second in the Crossroads League behind Indiana Wesleyan University. There is only one game separating the two teams, and Huntington is only three games behind first place.

“I’m not sure any of the three of us are going to be able to pull away from the other two,” Head Coach Kyle Gould said. “It will likely come down to the last day of the season.” 

If Taylor is able to win the Crossroads League title this year, it will be their eighth Crossroads League title in 15 years. 

Taylor has a four game home series with Marian University starting on April 21 at 3 p.m.