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story.lead_photo.caption Springdale Har-Ber senior Blake Adams went 7-0 with a 1.69 ERA. He struck out 96 batters in 661/3 innings in 2019. Adams has signed to play at the University of Arkansas.

SPRINGDALE -- Blake Adams was double trouble for Springdale Har-Ber's opposition.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound senior was not only one of the state's top high school pitchers, but he was also one of the most feared hitters. For that reason, he is the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette All-Arkansas Preps Baseball Player of the Year for the 2019 season.

At a glance

SCHOOL Springdale Har-Ber

CLASS Senior

POSITION Pitcher

NOTEWORTHY Went 7-0 with a 1.69 ERA along with 96 strikeouts in 66.1 innings. … Batted .318 with 7 home runs and 22 RBI. … Signed to play baseball at the University of Arkansas.

Adams helped lead the Wildcats to the state finals for the third consecutive season. He finished 7-0 on the mound with a 1.69 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 66 1/3 innings pitched. The Arkansas signee also finished with a .318 batting average with a team-high seven home runs and 22 RBIs but also drew 20 walks.

Springdale Har-Ber Coach Ron Bradley, a 30-year coaching veteran, said Adams was a special talent.

"What a thrill to be able to coach a player like Blake," Bradley said. "If you look at what he's done, he's proven in big-time games that he's been able to make a difference, not only at the plate but one the mound and in the field.

"Those things go unnoticed. You just think of Blake Adams as a power pitcher. But he's a four or five-tool guy who has a bright future ahead of him, not only at the University of Arkansas but also in professional baseball."

The hard-throwing right-hander was not selected in the recent Major League Baseball first-year player draft, but Adams said he made it known to scouts his plan was likely to attend Arkansas.

Har-Ber (25-7) was only the No. 5 seed from the 6A-West Conference, but Adams came up with big plays all around to help the Wildcats return to the state title game.

He came up with a huge game-saving catch in center field to help Har-Ber edge Cabot in the semifinals. Adams also hit two home runs in the state tournament, including a game-tying solo shot in the championship game against North Little Rock.

Adams was proud of what he and his teammates accomplished this season, despite falling short of winning back-to-back state titles. But he also learned how to overcome some adversity himself, Adams said.

"The season didn't end the way we would like for it to, but it was a good season," Adams said. "A lot of people didn't really believe in what we could accomplish. We had our bad days, but we had our good days. We got the state championship game and playing for a state championship three years in a row is really good.

"Personally, I didn't have the hitting numbers I expected. I was pressing early in the season. But the last two weeks I just relaxed and stopped thinking in the box. I said I was going to react and swing the bat and it really did work. I had quality at-bats and did a lot of productive things for my team."

Sports on 06/23/2019

Print Headline: Senior a dual threat for Wildcats

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