Adamski contributes in more ways than one for Minutemen

By Eli Rosenswaike, Collegian Staff

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It’s not often that a 6-foot-4, 240 pound player goes overlooked on the baseball diamond. Especially one that is athletic and talented enough to both hit and pitch at the Division I level.

But sometimes it seems like the accomplishments of Bryan Adamski – first baseman and pitcher for the Massachusetts baseball team – don’t get as much recognition as they deserve. But after his second monster effort against Connecticut this season yesterday, the Huskies have had a pretty good taste about how good he really is.

His teammates certainly know.

“He’s probably the best hitter on the team,” senior Bill Rankin said.

Adamski certainly proved that yesterday. The Minutemen fell 8-5 to the Huskies, but the senior cleanup hitter did all he could offensively – driving in three runs on three hits, including two doubles and his fourth home run of the season. He gave his team the lead with his two-run homer in the first, and tied things up in the seventh with an RBI double.

“I’ll take it,” Adamski said, referring to his big day. “Anytime you have three RBIs, it’s a pretty good day. It just would have been better in a winning effort.”

“I think he’s got a lot of ability,” UMass coach Mike Stone said. “I expect him to produce at the plate every time he steps in [the batters box].”

The South Deerfield native has done just that, leading the team in virtually all key offensive categories. He leads the team in home runs (four), slugging percentage (.433), on-base percentage (.389), total bases (61) and hit by pitches (nine). He shares the team-lead in doubles (nine) and RBIs (19) and ranks second in runs scored (25), hits (40) and walks (16).

“He’s a real threat every time up to get a big hit,” Rankin said. “We all love seeing him up there. We have a lot of confidence in him.”

That also applies when he’s on the hill.

“He’s probably been our biggest guy on the mound this year,” Rankin said. “He comes into difficult situations and gets the job done. It’s easy to play defense behind him, because he goes out there and pumps strikes. He’s real confident when he’s up there, and we’re all confident in him too.”

Adamski has made 12 appearances this season, often coming into crucial situations in the late innings. His three saves rank second on the team, while his 3.68 earned run average is third. Remove an outing against Holy Cross at Fenway Park earlier this season – three earned runs allowed in one inning – and his ERA is 2.45.

Adamski throws hard, and features a good slider but only has four strikeouts in his 22 innings of work. But the most important numbers for the senior hurler are his three wins and four walks.

“I just go right after guys,” he said. “Walks never help you, so I just stay away from them. If I strike a guy out, it’s a bonus. I just work both sides of the plate, and get a lot of movement to try to induce groundballs.”

One of this three wins came against UConn, back on April 10. Adamski was a jack-of-all-trades that day – pitching four shutout innings, dropping down two key sacrifice bunts, scoring two runs and driving in another.

Adamski had another monster game just 10 days later, against La Salle. He put the team ahead – for good, as it turned out – in the first inning with a sacrifice fly and added a two-run home run in the third to extend the lead. After Chris Lloyd allowed four runs in the seventh, Adamski came in to get the last nine outs for the save. He allowed one hit in his three innings.

Since transferring to UMass from Teikyo-Post College, Adamski has been a model of consistency in all aspects of his game. As a junior, he had a 3-2 record, with five saves and a 3.60 ERA, with the latter two leading the team. In each of his first two years at the plate, he hit four home runs and drove in 27 runs – and is virtually on pace for the exact same numbers this season.

“He’s swinging a real hot bat,” Bryan Garrity said. “Hopefully that lasts the rest of the season, because we need him to hit if we want to win ball games.”

The Huskies are just glad that it won’t be against them anymore.

Eli Rosenswaike can be reached at [email protected]