After dropping a doubleheader at Mercersburg Academy (Pa.), Shane Adams and his teammates on the Hun School baseball team weren’t about to let losing become a habit.
“We had a good winning streak before the weekend so we are just looking to get back on the train,” said post-graduate second baseman Adams, reflecting on the team’s mood in the wake of the double setback on April 20.
Adams helped get the Raiders on the right track, collecting three hits in a 4-2 win over WW/P-S on April 23 and then smacking a triple and a single with two runs and two RBIs in a 6-3 victory over Lawrenceville last Thursday.
“That was a good way to come back out and get another W,” said Adams. “It was a close game so it was nice to grind it out and start winning again and then beating a MAPL (Mid-Atlantic Prep League) team today.”
Against Lawrenceville, the Raiders battled back after falling behind 1-0 in the top of the first inning.
“We knew they were going to come out tougher in this game,” said Adams of Lawrenceville which fell 8-0 to Hun in the season opener on March 28.
“We just wanted to jump on the board, two runs in the first is the best way to do it. Devo [Devan Birch] getting on is always good and hitting him in is great. He always scores because he is so fast. We have a great one-two combo right there.”
The Houston, Texas native and Columbia-bound Adams has made a fast transition to life in New Jersey.
“I got All-State my senior year, which was kind of out of the blue,” explained Adams.
“I got picked up at Columbia. I didn’t know a PG existed and they said here is a good school. I came up here, great ballclub. That is just how it wound up. It has been like a first year moving away; you are not quite in college but it is still like that. It has been a weird transition but it has been smooth.
Hun head coach Bill McQuade is happy that Adams made his way to Hun from Texas.
“We knew he was a ballplayer as soon as we saw him in Florida,” said McQuade.
“He may be the fastest guy from home to first right-handed that I have ever had here. When he gets moving, he is something else.”
McQuade credited Adams with helping to get things moving for Hun in the win over Lawrenceville.
“Shane handles the bat so well; he can bunt and get on base,” said McQuade.
“He is smart. Today, you saw he has that sneaky power. He smacks a triple and smokes another one later in the game. He really understands the game.”
In McQuade’s view, coming through in the WW/P-S game was critical for his team’s psyche.
“The South game was so crucial,” said McQuade. “After you lose two heartbreakers, it can either lead to a slide or the true character comes out. They battled back from some adversity and heartbreak.”
The Raiders had to battle to overcome rival Lawrenceville. “This was a gutty game, Lawrenceville came out and fought,” said McQuade, whose team posted another gutty win as it topped Blair 7-5 last Saturday to improve to 11-3.
“They scored a run and we came back; that was critical. They are young so you know they are going to get better and they have gotten better. They were one hit to the fence away from tying the game so I give them a ton of credit. In turn, I give our team credit for continuing to fight.”
McQuade knows that his team faces a tough fight in Mercer County Tournament and Prep A tourney.
“It is going to be a struggle because the teams we are playing are all good,” said McQuade, whose squad is seeded third in the MCT and is slated to host No. 14 Nottingham on May 4 in an opening round contest.
“There are some good teams that we are playing. You really don’t want to play a bad team because you don’t want to lose your edge. No matter whom you face, when you are in the first round you are facing the other guy’s ace. Everybody has somebody who can throw the ball hard. On any given day, anybody can beat anybody.”
Adams, for his part, feels that Hun will be hard to beat at tournament time.
“We have got a bunch of great guys,” said Adams. “Every loss is a killer and we don’t want to let that happen again. Now that we have some bats going it is going to look good the next few games.”