DeSoto sophomore Logan Adams was on the hill for just the fourth time this season, given the nod to start in the non-district contest at Port Charlotte. Adams looked like a seasoned veteran, however, easily confusing and baffling the Pirate hitters with a complete game one-hitter.
He gave up just an infield single in the first inning on a high hopper (my view from the Pirate bench showed) that the leaping Adams just missed by less than a foot. The ball fell to the turf behind the mound and the Pirates’ Hunter Wilder beat the throw to first.
“It was a dribbler just over my head. If I could jump like Michael Jordan, I might have had it,” said a smiling Adams.
But that was all the offense the Pirates could get off the hard throwing righthander. Adams looked like a reverse copy of his older brother Robb—a great southpaw for the Bulldogs—as he kept the Pirates off balance all night. He was up and down, in and out, and changed speeds effectively hitting his spots.
Adams was so effective that Pirate coach Rodney Taylor said, “He threw a great game over there. Anything we tried to do, he countered. He had total control. He threw a great game. I tip my hat to him.”
A jubilant Adams said, “Everything was working. My fastball, my curve was good; I hit my spots and my changeup was good when I needed it.”
This is still a team game. Though dominant, Adams still needed help to get the win and put the Bulldogs into double figures with a 10th win of the season.
Outfielders Garrett Leath and Mason Ayers, for example, made a couple of good defensive plays behind him, and Jade Zepeda had an outstanding catch as he leaped to take make a catch on a ball that was heading for centerfield in the sixth inning.
But the Bulldogs had trouble with Pirate starter Tyler Zylstra too. Zepeda had a first-inning shot up the middle that nicked Zylstra for the first hit of the game. Braden Steele followed with a two-out base hit to right. With the rightfielder making a bad throw to first in an attempt to get Steele, Zepeda scampered over to third. Danny Shea’s fly ball ended the inning without a score. Both pitchers were unhittable through the first five innings. The Bulldogs had a runner on in every inning except the fourth when all three batters fanned.
The Bulldogs had a walk in the second and third innings, a pair of two-out free passes in the fifth, and Cody Burton led off the seventh getting on base on a missed infield pop-up. But they were unable to dent the dish in any of those opportunities. Four base running miscues contributed to the lack of scoring. A two-out runner picked off first in the fifth and an unwise attempt to advance from second to third on a short fly to rightfield were just two of those missed opportunities.
With nothing but goose eggs on the scoreboard, the Bulldogs broke the pitcher’s duel with a big two-out single by Caleb Fillingim. Steele and Shea had drawn two-out walks when Fillingim drilled a shot down the first-base line that deflected off the glove of the diving first baseman. That scored Steele, and was all Adams needed to preserve his one-hit shutout, six-strikeout masterpiece.
“I was excited. I saw the ball hit the glove and I wasn’t sure if the rightfielder was going to be able to make the throw home or not. I saw Braden score and I really felt good,” said Fillingim.
Fillingim is not known as the fastest runner on the team, but joked after the game that “if he (first baseman) wouldn’t have touched the ball, I probably would have had a triple with my wheels.”
“That hit was clutch. He stepped up and I knew we’d win the game then,” said Adams, who didn’t allow a base runner over the final five innings, with the final out of the game coming on an easy comebacker to the mound.
With a strong pitching staff that includes a no-hitter, one-hitter and a two-hitter this season, the Bulldogs can make a deep post-season run. They have had other teams on the ropes this season and were not able to get quality at-bats to get back in the games. If the performance at Port Charlotte is any indication of what the DeSoto team has become, it could make for an exciting post-season.