Waterloo, Iowa – Senior Evan Taylor has been the Viterbo University baseball team ace all season and so it was no surprise when head coach Chad Miller called on Taylor in the opening round of the Midwest Collegiate Conference tournament. As he has done all season, Taylor delivered a gem to lead Viterbo University to a 2-0 win over William Penn to advance in the winner's bracket of the MCC tournament.
The V-Hawks got on the scoreboard right away as senior Matt Watkins led off the first with a walk and advanced to second on a single by Steve Pascual. Watkins and Pascual then advanced to second and third on a sacrifice bunt by Shea Coates. Watkins then scored on a sacrifice fly by Taylor Reinhardt to put the V-Hawks up 1-0. Neither team would get much going for offense until William Penn would threaten in the fifth. The Statesmen would load the bases with two outs but Taylor would induce a pop up to center field to get out of the jam and preserve the 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, junior Phil Pupillo would record a one out single. He would then advance to third base on a Statesmen error and would score when Watkins reached on another error by the Statesmen to put the V-Hawks up 2-0. William Penn would get two runners on in the sixth inning with two outs but Taylor would once again induce a fly out. Viterbo would not really put together another scoring threat but that was just fine as Taylor and the V-Hawk defense closed the door. The Statesmen put two runners on in the top of the ninth with one out but they would get no further than second base as Taylor got a fly out and a ground out.
The complete game shutout is Taylor's second consecutive shutout and four straight complete game. Taylor (9-1) allowed seven hits while striking out five in nine innings of work. The win is Taylor's ninth win of the season ties him with V-Hawk alum Shawn Peck for the single season record for wins in a season which was set in 2000. The V-Hawk offense was led by Watkins who was 1-3 with a run scored and a walk while Reinhardt was 1-3 with an RBI. Pascual was also 2-4 for the V-Hawks.
The win improves Viterbo to 29-17 on the year while William Penn falls to 26-18. Viterbo advances in the winner's bracket of the MCC tournament and will now face AIB College at 3:30 pm on Sunday. AIB College defeated St. Ambrose University this afternoon 2-1. William Penn will face the winner of Grand View University and St. Ambrose in an elimination game Sunday night at 7:00 pm.