IWU baseball wins Crossroads League Tournament Co-Championship

For the first time in 31 years the Indiana Wesleyan University baseball team has won a league championship. No. 6-seed IWU and No. 1-seed Taylor (Ind.) were named co-tournament champions after the title game was rained out after five innings on May 12. Since the game was considered official after five innings, both teams were named tournament champions as the game finished in a 3-3 tie.

IWU crushed three solo home runs to account for their scoring. Junior Brandon Shaffer and freshman Caleb Eder both hit first inning bombs while senior Derek Shomon added one in the third inning. Taylor scored once in the third inning and twice in the fourth inning, as the game was 3-3 after five innings. Eder belted a two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning to give the Wildcats a 5-3 lead. IWU continued to threaten as the next two batters reached base. But the game was brought to a halt due to heavy rains for the second time that night.

Once the rains cleared late in the evening, the umpires deemed the field unplayable with rain puddles littering the outfield and warning track. The game was official since five full innings were played, but the two runs the Wildcats plated in the 6th inning did not count because the Trojans never got to bat in the inning.

The last IWU baseball championship came in 1985 with a regular season championship. The tournament championship is the first in program history and just the second appearance in the title game.

IWU is the first team seeded No. 6 or lower to reach the Crossroads League Tournament Championship Game since at least the 2006 season, according to the 11 years of history on the Crossroads League website. This is also the first league tournament championship game featuring IWU vs. Taylor in any sport since IWU volleyball defeated Taylor 3-2 on November 12, 2011 in Upland, Indiana.

The Wildcats advanced and made their first-ever NAIA National Tournament appearance. Their historic season came to a close on May 18 after losing to No. 2-seed Keiser University in the NAIA National Championship Opening Round in Montgomery, Alabama.

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