By Seth Wesman
Sports Information Intern
GOSHEN, Ind. — A middle-innings rally brought the Goshen College baseball team within two runs of the lead, but the visiting Trojans of Taylor University came away with a 5-2 Crossroads League win on Wednesday afternoon at "Sarge" Yoder Field.
The game was delayed 90 minutes at the start due to rain; once the action started, Taylor (29-15, 17-4 Crossroads League) got the early edge with four runs before Goshen (21-23-1, 9-12) found the scoreboard.
Brad Stoltzfus got the Leafs on the board in the bottom of the fifth when he drew a two-out bases loaded walk to bring home Connor Clemens for Goshen's first run of the game.
An inning later, Quinlan Armstrong scored on Ben Longacre's RBI single up the middle to cut the Trojans' lead to 4-2. Despite bringing the tying run to the plate in both the fourth and fifth innings, Goshen would get no closer.
Taylor scored an insurance run in the top of the seventh, and the game nearly got no further after a downpour briefly delayed play between innings. After the initial setback, the Maple Leaf-Trojan game would be the last game to finish on Wednesday's full Crossroads League slate.
Blake Collins got the start for the Leafs and went 4 ⅓ innings, allowing 3 earned runs on 4 hits. Travis Grimm, Spenser Triplett, Braedon Evans and Colby Malson each pitched at least an inning in relief with Triplett recording a team-high 3 strikeouts.
Armstrong led Goshen's offense with a perfect 3 for 3 performance at the plate, accounting for almost half of the team's seven hits, and a run scored. Clemens scored the other run and Stoltzfus and Longacre each drove in runs.
Taylor sent Andrew Kennedy to the mound: he threw 4 1/3 innings, allowing a single run on four hits. Brett Lawson and Rob Fox each recorded two outs before Matt Patton finished the final 3 1/3 innings and picked up the win with three strikeouts.
Sam Wiese drove in two runs for the Trojans with Tanner Watson, Nathan Targgart and Kennedy also collecting RBIs. Brian Fields led Taylor with a pair of runs scored.
Goshen returns to action on Friday when the Maple Leafs travel to Winona Lake, Indiana, to play the first of a three-game weekend set with conference opponent Grace College. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. for a single game on Friday and 1 p.m. for Saturday's doubleheader. Goshen can clinch its second straight Crossroads League tournament berth with two wins in the series.