The most-expected sporting occasion in Taylor High University heritage hadn’t begun, and presently George Phares pinpointed cause for problem.
Phares, the Titans longtime baseball coach, had his staff in the 2000 Course 2A state championship game. He was of the belief his squad was the specified household group from North Montgomery at Victory Industry in Indianapolis.
He was at some point informed in any other case.
Looking at his gamers in the dugout, Phares knowledgeable them they would be batting 1st, listened to their response and was right away blanketed by relaxed.
“They said, ‘Coach, do not get worried about it. We’ll choose treatment of business enterprise,’” remembers Phares, 74, who led the Titans baseball fortunes from 1977-2007. “And they did.”
In exclamation point manner, no significantly less.
Taylor scored in 5 of the seven innings, gained a rocket start of a home run to left-centerfield from senior correct fielder Ted Secrease and 5-hit pitching performance from senior Brian Collins to handily defeat North Montgomery, 12-1.
It stays the only condition championship in Taylor heritage, personal or staff.
“We understood we were great. Some of the seniors had started off four straight a long time,” claimed Phares, who club finished with a 30-4 document. “Their sophomore yr we received our 1st sectional, missing to Alexandria in the semistate, and they went on to gain condition. The following year we missing in the initially spherical of the sectional to Lewis Cass.
“Before the 2000 year, we just explained, let us go out and perform to our skill and the scoreboard will take care of alone. That is the way people youngsters were.”
Brian Collins and his twin brother, third baseman Brad Collins — the latter the more mature by 9 minutes — had been mainstays in an professional lineup that incorporated shortstop Brandon Boles, catcher Joey Keck, Darrin Sims at 1st base and next baseman Dustin Rodkey.
Kevin Griffin played 3rd if Brad Collins was pitching, although Austin McClain and Craig Denison joined Secrease in the outfield.
Boles supplied a highlight throughout the common year when he set a national report with a 52-recreation hitting streak.
Taylor’s postseason started at the Tipton Sectional with an 8- blanking of Japanese in the semifinal and an 8-1 determination more than Carroll in the championship match. The future phase was the Cass Regional wherever, once more, the Titans prevailed by spectacular margins, defeating Rensselaer Central, 7-2, in a semifinal, and Frankton, 11-2, in the title contest.
Taylor would go on down Boone Grove, 6-1, in the initially of the 2A semifinals at Victory Area with North Montgomery rallying for a 5-4 victory over North Posey in the second video game.
By this point, Taylor was using a tidal wave of momentum, and not about to be stopped.
Brian Collins would sooner or later add another layer of accomplishment to the Titans’ day by remaining named the Class 2A recipient of the L.V. Phillips Psychological Angle Award.
The Titans’ memorable run by way of the condition tournament happened in the 3rd university calendar year of multiclass sporting activities in Indiana. Because then, Northwestern baseball was 2A runner-up in 2005, Kokomo the 4A bridesmaid two yrs later on and Western gained the 3A title in 2012 and was runner-up in 2016.
Phares coached his share of outstanding Taylor baseball teams in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, but the plan did not sample regional competitors right until class sports activities grew to become a truth.
Taylor baseball now promises a whole of 7 sectional championships, the most recent becoming in 2015. Four of people Titans teams received regional, including the 2011 outfit that shed a heartbreaker to Hanover Central, 4-3, at semistate.
In 1 respect, the timing was best for the 2000 squad. In one more, not so a great deal.
According to Brad Collins, that Taylor ball club was developed to defeat any faculty of any sizing. To this day, Titans players and coaches simply cannot enable but wonder how deep of a run they could have produced in the previous a person-class procedure.
“For the size of college, we had so numerous very good baseball players. It was type of out of the normal for a faculty that sizing,” explained Collins. “Our junior calendar year was certainly a disappointment. Issues just didn’t go our way.
“It definitely enthusiastic us for our senior yr. We knew we had been really good and could at the very least make it to point out.”
As soon as there, the Titans did what excellent groups do.
They produced heritage.