Steven Taylor has been at it all season.
Other than some minor struggles at the plate recently, the senior has produced offensively and on the mound for the Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy baseball team.
A perfect example is what happened April 26. Taylor went the distance in a 3-2 victory at home over Principals' Athletic Conference rival Indian Valley. He gave up just 4 hits while striking out 7 and walking only 1. As of April 27, he had a sparkling 5-1 record and a 1.40 ERA.
"Steven is pitching really well," said CVCA head coach Jason Herblet.
At the plate against Indian Valley Taylor helped his own cause by ripping 3 doubles, knocking in a run and scoring one.
On April 24, the Royals lost 2-1 to the same Braves in Gnadenhutten.
The week began April 20 with an 11-1 loss at Tuscarawas Valley, another PAC foe, a game in which CVCA, whose field was too wet on which to play, acted as the home team. The game was shortened to five innings due to the 10-run rule.
On April 22, host CVCA split a doubleheader with non-conference opponent Medina Highland, winning the first game 7-2 and dropping the nightcap 4-1.
In the win over Indian Valley the Royals took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The visitors tied the score with a run each in the fourth and fifth innings. CVCA's winning run came in the bottom of the fifth.
Sophomore third baseman Josh Junko had 2 singles. Senior left fielder Chris Fair and sophomore right fielder Taylor Sobiech each singled and had an RBI. Sobiech had a stolen base.
Center fielder Josh Thacker and second baseman Dylan Nichols, both juniors, each singled. Thacker scored a run.
Junior middle infielder Drew Wilson also plated a run, and junior outfielder Matt Henning drew a walk and swiped a bag.
In the loss to Indian Valley Wilson went the distance, yielding only four hits and fanning six
"Drew threw a gem," Herblet said. "We couldn't string together consecutive hits, though. For some reason, we can't back him with offensive support. That's how it's been all year. His ERA is right around 1.00, which is the lowest on the team. He's the real deal."
Junko had three singles.
"Josh is doing very well," the coach said. "At the beginning of the season, I was looking for a leadoff hitter and we tried a few guys out. He's really stepped into that role and embraced it. He's also playing really good defensively. He's just an overall solid baseball kid."
With a single apiece were Fair, Thacker, Sobiech and Wilson. Wilson drove home Taylor for CVCA's only run.
According to Herblet, his team simply failed to show up for the game against Tusky Valley.
"We didn't come ready to play," he said.
"It just seemed like everybody out there wasn't mentally ready to go. Henning, our starter, struggled a little bit in the first inning, and we just couldn't bounce back."
Henning went 2 1/3 innings in taking the loss. He gave up 9 runs and 11 hits and had a strikeout. Thacker came in and also pitched 2 1/3 innings, yielding two runs and two hits while striking out one and walking three. Senior Luke Leonard finished the fifth inning and had a strikeout.
The Trojans scored four runs in the first inning, three in the second and two each in the third and fifth.
CVCA managed just five hits - doubles by Wilson and Fair and singles by Junko, Taylor and senior infielder James Hancock. Wilson knocked in Junko for the Royals' only run.
CVCA got some hits in key situations in the win over Highland. Fair led the way with a double, 2 singles, 3 RBIs, 2 runs scored and 2 stolen bases.
Taylor singled, knocked in a run, scored one and stole a base. Thacker doubled and stole a base, while Junko singled and scored a run.
Also scoring a run apiece were Nichols, Wilson and senior first baseman Matt Miller.
Wilson also swiped a bag. Also stealing a base apiece were Hancock and sophomore left fielder Alex Jacob.
CVCA scored two runs each in the first and second innings and a run apiece in the third, fourth and sixth.
Taylor started and went four innings in earning the win. He yielded two runs, four hits and struck out three.
Freshman Matthew Groggs pitched the last three innings in earning the save. He gave up a hit, fanned three and walked three.
"Steven pitched really well," Herblet said. "We limited his pitch count because we knew he'd be coming back for a conference game later in the week. Matthew pitched very well, too."
The loss to Highland went into extra innings. The score was 1-1 when the Bees hung up a three-spot in the top of the eighth.
"We battled, but we just couldn't get the key hit," Herblet said.
Taylor and Thacker each had two singles. Thacker drove home Taylor for CVCA's lone run. Junko and Hancock had a single apiece.
Sobiech started and went 5 innings. He gave up a run, four hits, struck out three and walked two.
Junior Lance Rybka came in and pitched 2 1/3 innings, yielding thre runs and two hits. He took the loss. Jacob pitched the final 2/3 of an inning.
CVCA was scheduled to take a 9-7 overall record, and a 6-4 PAC mark, into a non-conference game April 28 at home against Ravenna.
On April 29, the Royals were set to compete in the Cuyahoga Falls City Baseball Championship against Woodridge and then Cuyahoga Falls. The results of all three games were not available at press time.
CVCA is scheduled to play at PAC rival Tuslaw May 1 at 5 p.m. On May 2, travel to non-conference opponent Canal Fulton Northwest. On May 3, the Bulldogs are set to host Tuslaw. First pitch for all three games is set for 5 p.m.
On May 4, CVCA is scheduled to travel to non-conference foe Nordonia for a 4:30 p.m. start.