Eastern York's Taylor, Rishell lead Millersville baseball into Super Regionals

Thomas Kendziora
York Dispatch

Bren Taylor's senior season with Millersville baseball will stretch into Memorial Day weekend.

The Marauders advanced to the NCAA Division II Atlantic Super Regional with a trio of wins at regionals over the weekend. Millersville improved to 43-8 overall after knocking off Charleston (W.V.) once and West Chester twice at home. The Marauders, as the top seed in the Atlantic Region, will host Seton Hill for a best-of-three series starting Friday and closing Saturday.

Taylor, an Eastern York graduate, has been right in the middle of it all. The senior was named PSAC East Athlete of the Year for the second time, also winning the honor in 2021. He was named to the league's first team for a third consecutive campaign, and he could add a second ABCA All-American honor to his mantle after making the second team in 2022.

Millersville baseball's Bren Taylor prepares to swing during a game April 11 against Frostburg State. The Eastern York graduate is hitting .413 and has helped lead the Marauders to the NCAA Division II Atlantic Super Regionals.

Entering Super Regionals, Taylor leads Millersville with a .413 batting average and .504 on-base percentage alongside a .597 slugging percentage. He's first on the squad with 81 hits, 20 stolen bases and 55 runs scored. He's second with 44 RBIs, four triples and 117 total bases (thanks to 16 doubles, four triples and four homers).

Taylor isn't the only former Golden Knight making a major impact, though. Sophomore left-handed pitcher Evan Rishell has delivered an incredible season out of the bullpen, going 5-0 with a 0.81 ERA in 20 appearances and 33 1/3 innings pitched. He's allowed six runs (three earned) all season after shifting into a full-time relief role; he posted a 4.98 ERA as a spot starter and long reliever in 2022.

Rishell delivered in Saturday's close-out game against West Chester, pitching 2 1/3 shutout innings. Millersville trailed 4-3 when he entered the game but pulled ahead with three runs in the eighth. The southpaw then nailed down the final three outs to send his team through to the next round.

Millersville pitcher Evan Rishell, back, and catcher Cole Houser embrace at the mound after the Marauders' 6-4 victory over West Chester on Saturday, May 20, 2023, in Atlantic Regional action.

The Marauders were eliminated in the regional round each of the last two seasons, but made the leap this season en route to the Atlantic Region's top seed. Their last time advancing through the Super Regional Round was in 2016, when they were the NCAA Division II runner-up. Eight regional champions will advance to the championship finals at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, from June 3-10.

Taylor was a four-time all-county selection at Eastern York and finished his career with a .482 batting average. Rishell was the 2021 York-Adams Division III Pitcher of the Year and helped lead the Golden Knights to the Class 4A state tournament. Millersville has a third former YAIAA standout on the squad in senior first baseman Garrett Lowe (Kennard-Dale).

The trio will run into some former foes at Super Regionals. Seton Hill's roster includes sophomore pitcher Ian Korn (York Suburban) and freshman outfielder Colin Ahr (Dallastown), neither of whom has seen any action down the stretch of the season.

The Marauders and Griffins will begin their series at 1 p.m. Friday. The teams will reconvene at 11 a.m. Saturday, with a decisive Game 3 following at 2:30 p.m. if necessary.