INDIANAPOLIS – The 2017 All-Crossroads League awards were recently announced, with eight different Trojans receiving recognition. Jared Adkins led the way by being tabbed as the Crossroads League Player of the Year, after leading the CL in runs, home runs, stolen bases and slugging percentage during the regular season.
Adkins was also one-of-17 individuals named to the 2017 All-Crossroads League Team and was joined by teammates Tanner Watson, Nathan Targgart, Sam Wiese, Austin Mettica and Matt Patton. Two additional Trojans garnered Honorable Mention All-Crossroads accolades, with Wyatt Whitman and Andrew Kennedy making that list.
Adkins extended a nine-year stretch of Taylor student-athletes being named as the Player or Pitcher of the Year within the Crossroads League, as the junior second baseman followed Lincoln Reed (2016), Josh DeGraaf (2015, 2014, 2013), Ryne Otis (2012, 2011) and Michael Kraynak (2010, 2009) in becoming the fifth Trojan to receive the prestigious honor in Kyle Gould's 13-year tenure in the Taylor dugout.
Adkins had a breakout season with Taylor, hitting .333 with 74 runs scored, 16 doubles, 16 home runs, 33 steals and a .671 slugging percentage, while playing steady defense at second base with 101 assists. In addition to leading the CL in runs, homers, steals and slugging percentage, the junior broke Taylor's single-season records for home runs and steals and ended one run shy of another top mark. Adkins finished the 2017 campaign top-10 in the NAIA in runs scored, top-20 in steals and top-25 in home runs.
Watson received Crossroads League recognition for the third time in as many years, picking up a second All-Crossroads League Team nod. The junior split time between right field and the catcher position, hitting .366 with 27 extra-base hits, 55 runs batted in and a .445 on-base percentage, to go with a .405 average in league play.
Targgart was named All-Crossroads League for the second time in two years at Taylor after hitting .410 with Taylor single-season records of 94 hits and 26 doubles. The sophomore third baseman added 10 home runs and 63 RBI, while slugging .664 and closing the regular season ranked No. 1 in the NAIA in doubles and No. 4 in hits.
Wiese picked up his first All-Crossroads League nod by ranking second on Taylor with a .371 average, while scoring 51 runs, collecting 18 extra-base hits and swiping 19 bases. The junior center fielder caught fire in league play, topping TU with a .446 average over 27 Crossroads League outings.
Mettica earned All-Crossroads League honors following his first season with the TU program after hitting .335 with 22 extra-base hits, 44 runs batted in and a .525 slugging percentage from the cleanup spot in the order. The sophomore split time at designated hitter and catcher, while posting a .343 average against league opposition.
Patton claimed his second All-Crossroads League honor, after being named Honorable Mention All-CL one year ago. The junior pitched in 19 games for Taylor, picking up three saves and two wins, while leading the staff with 59 strikeouts over 62.2 innings of work. Patton went 2-1 with a 2.45 earned-run average and a .218 average against versus league foes.
Whitman posted career-best numbers in his first season as a starter for Taylor and was named to the Honorable Mention All-Crossroads League Team. The sophomore left fielder hit .310 with 14 doubles, 10 home runs and 60 runs batted in, while stealing 17 bases.
Kennedy was also named Honorable Mention All-Crossroads League following a strong rookie campaign with the Purple and Gold. The first baseman hit .344, including a .370 clip in league play and closed the year with 19 extra-base hits, while also going 4-0 in 12 outings on the bump.
The Trojans closed the 2017 campaign with a 35-21 overall mark and claimed second in the Crossroads League with a 20-7 clip. TU has now won at least 32 games in nine-straight years and has posted 10-straight winning seasons.
Taylor turned in its best offensive season in program history, setting single-season team records with 487 runs scored, 616 hits, 141 doubles, 66 home runs, 451 runs batted in, a .526 slugging percentage and 123 stolen bases in 141 attempts.
The Trojans are set to return all eight of their All-Crossroads League standouts for the 2018 campaign.