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Baseball: Nature Coast's Adams looks unstoppable again

Mike Adams tosses a pitch against Springstead. The Nature Coast senior got his second win against the Eagles in a month.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Mike Adams tosses a pitch against Springstead. The Nature Coast senior got his second win against the Eagles in a month.

BROOKSVILLE — If pitch counts were currency, Nature Coast left-hander Mike Adams would have this recession thing whipped.

In a performance as economical as it was masterful, the 6-foot-3 senior needed only 88 pitches — all of which he called himself — and a potent swing of his aluminum bat Thursday night to defeat Springstead 4-1.

The triumph was Adams' second against the Eagles in a month, and eerily similar to the 6-2 victory of Feb. 20. Both meetings featured one-inning offensive outbursts by the Sharks (7-4), diminishing temperatures as the game progressed, and a complete game by Adams.

"It's the Mike Adams show, that's all there is to it," said Eagles coach Frank Vitale, who has watched Adams earn two wins and a save in his past three meetings against the Sharks dating to last season. "Every time we play them he pitches."

Adams, who needed more than 100 pitches in the Feb. 20 meeting, appeared as relaxed Thursday as his curveball appeared sharp. He allowed three hits over the first three innings, then retired 11 in a row.

"I was leaving my fastball up in the zone (early), but through the innings I got better," Adams said. "My curveball wasn't breaking at first, but once I hit about the third inning I felt real comfortable out there."

Perhaps not coincidentally, the only hit Adams allowed after the third was a single to shallow center in the seventh that centerfielder John Russell nearly snagged. He walked no one and struck out seven.

The Eagles (6-7) scored first when leadoff hitter Mike Speakman opened with a single and later scored on Julian Perez's fielder's choice.

But the Sharks, playing without coach John Frascatore, who was ejected in a Monday night win against Hernando, scored four on three big hits in the third. Russell and Danny Colon led off the inning with a double and walk, respectively, before Justin Beetz brought them home with a triple.

Two batters later, Adams sent a 3-1 Patrick Dwyer pitch over the rightfield wall for a two-run home run. The inning smudged an otherwise solid effort by Dwyer, a junior right-hander who scattered five hits over six innings and fanned eight.

"I tip my hat to Mike," Vitale said. "I'm glad he's a senior and he's graduating so I don't have to worry about him anymore."

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Baseball: Nature Coast's Adams looks unstoppable again 03/19/09 [Last modified: Thursday, March 19, 2009 10:35pm]
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