MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — Andrew Taylor says from a young age, baseball was his first love.
"Whenever we were playing catch in the house, from when I was eight or so, my mom couldn't even catch me anymore because it was coming in so good I guess," Taylor laughed.
Taylor would go on to have an outstanding baseball career at Caledonia high school where college scouts started to take notice.
"I didn't get a whole lot of Division-1 offers," he admitted, "I had some D-2 offers, some junior college offers, things like that."
But one program had mutual interest in Taylor and that was Central Michigan under new head coach Jordan Bischel who liked what he saw in the six-foot-five-inch right hander.
"I had seen him early in the summer before his senior year, obviously there was a lot of ability there but not a whole lot of polish," Bischel said.
However, the potential was there and it has already turned into ability as Taylor has blossomed in his redshirt-freshman season in Mount Pleasant.
"We started off the season at Corpus Christi and I gave up one run over six or seven innings and I was like, alright maybe I can do something this year," he recalled.
And that one solid outing has turned into twelve so far this season, with Taylor allowing no more than three runs per start.
In fact, he now has a 1.45 ERA over 74 innings of work, putting him in the top six nationally.
"As the season kept going I kept giving up less runs and less runs, I don't know," he chuckled.
Coach Bischel says Taylor has meant the world to the team this season.
"He's an absolute backbone of this pitching staff," he said, "he's just been tremendous for us and the competitive side is what's really impressive, if you talk to Andrew he's a super quiet kid, he doesn't say a whole lot."
Now, Taylor is being recognized nationally for his outstanding season thus far. Baseball America has placed him on their watch list for freshman of the year in all of college baseball.
"I was speechless, it was just pure excitement," smiled Taylor, "it was just a testament of all the hard work and dedication I put in, I didn't believe it at first. I think my mom texted it to me because I was at practice or something and she said look at this I said oh my goodness."
After this season ends, which the Chippewas hope will be in a NCAA Regional or further, Taylor will head to the prestigious Cape Code summer baseball league and pitch in Bourne, Massachusetts.
It's an opportunity that will put him in front of several major league scouts ahead of next year's MLB Draft.
"Hopefully I can get drafted next year, but it should be a lot of fun this summer."
Taylor and the Chips will take on Eastern Michigan in a four game series this weekend as the push for a Mid-American Conference championship continues.