Templeton second baseman Gavin Taber signed his National Letter of Intent to Providence Christian College on Wednesday afternoon on the field at Vineyard Elementary School following a 5-0 victory over the San Luis Obispo Tigers in the Eagles first Mountain League game of the season.
“It is a crazy feeling,” Taber said on the field after the ceremony. “I have been working towards this for a long time. It is just awesome to have so much support in the community that you move to your freshman year. Everybody comes out and supports you and your family. It is a crazy feeling, and I am going to miss it a lot.”
The Templeton senior moved into town at the end of the first semester of his freshman year from Orange County and has worked tirelessly with the baseball coaches to improve his game. Taber, who brings a great glove to the Eagles defense, has experienced some significant setbacks during his Templeton career but has never let it affect his work ethic.
As a sophomore, Taber broke his finger and then lost his junior season to the COVID-19 pandemic. This season, as a senior, Taber finally has his chance to shine and is making the most of his opportunities.
“It’s awesome to see for him,” Templeton head coach Rob Tompkins said. “He was actually down on the JV team with me his sophomore year for the first ten days in 2019, he was sent down, and I couldn’t understand why. So, when I ended up getting the job, I brought him back up, and he proved to me and the coaching staff that he is very capable of playing at the varsity level and he has earned everything.”
Defensively, Taber is a jack of all trades. While he routinely starts at second base, he has the capability to play anywhere in the infield, especially the two middle spots.
“He can play middle infield — he can really play anywhere in the infield,” Tompkins explained. “He is an excellent second baseman, he can be a halfway decent shortstop, and he can play third if you need him to. Anything in the middle infield, he has great hands.”
While Taber is fantastic in the field, he has also worked tirelessly on his offense which has shown in the Eagles lineup this season. In the last five games, he is batting .455 with four RBI and three drawn walks.
The Eagles are currently 6-2 on the season and 1-0 in the Mountain League. Wednesday afternoons matchup was the kickoff to the league season; Templeton will complete the series with SLO on Saturday, Apr. 17 in a doubleheader south of the Grade.