Rochester Adams sophomore pitcher Zeke King readies a pitch April 12 in a game against Bloomfield Hills High at home. King gave up two hits and didn’t allow an earned run in the 4-1 win.

Rochester Adams sophomore pitcher Zeke King readies a pitch April 12 in a game against Bloomfield Hills High at home. King gave up two hits and didn’t allow an earned run in the 4-1 win.

Photo by Donna Agusti


Adams pitching going strong in hot start

By: Jacob Herbert | Rochester Post | Published April 17, 2019

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ROCHESTER HILLS — Last season, Rochester Adams baseball coach Jeff Hall said his Highlanders were out of the league race too early in the season. One of the team’s goals this year is to stay out of the basement of the Oakland Activities Association Red Division.

At press time, the Highlanders were 5-2 overall and hoped the early momentum would carry into league play when it starts.

Hall attributed the strong start due in part to his pitching.

“Everyone is throwing really solid. Alex Ackerman threw well against (Utica) Eisenhower,” Hall said. “Nick Picot’s thrown well at times. Chase Krol is throwing well too. It’s going to be a pitching staff by committee. I think we’ve got depth.”

The Highlanders are doing all this without two of their top arms in Grant Evans and Nick Durand. Evans is dealing with knee issues, while Durand is sidelined with an arm injury for the next couple of weeks.

In their place, Hall has relied on his depth to fill the voids left by those upperclassmen. In Adams’ 4-1 win over Bloomfield Hills High April 12, sophomore Zeke King tossed five innings while surrendering just two hits and not allowing an earned run.

Any solid pitching staff is always bolstered by its defense. Hall noted that those two facets will need to be in sync if the Highlanders are to capture an OAA Red title.

“We don’t have a guy that’s going to throw 90 miles per hour right away,” Hall said. “But if we hit our spots, our middle infielders are good and our outfielders are fast and run down everything.

“As long as I can get the other team to put the ball in play, our defense is going to be as good as it’s been in five years.”

At this point in the season, Adams expected the pitching and defense to be ahead of the hitting. So the fact that Hall’s team has grinded out some quality at-bats has been a pleasant surprise.

Adams doesn’t have named captains. Hall doesn’t want his players to get wrapped up in the title. But as far as leaders to look to, he pointed to catcher Gehrig Williams.

“He’s on the field a ton calling your defenses and things like that,” Hall said. “From there, it’s who works hard and who shows up every day. We’ve got those guys.”

Hall also pointed to seniors Ryan Rifenberg and Jack Chermside.

The Highlanders have the same three goals every year: win 20 games, win a league title and win a district. Hall said the team feels that it can compete for a league title, but Lake Orion High, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek, Rochester High, Clarkston High and Oxford High all feel the same way.

“I always think we have a shot,” Hall said. “These kids work hard in the offseason and compete. Now it’s just a matter of getting the season going and going for it.”

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