BANGOR, Maine — Nate Adams has been a model of consistency for the Husson University baseball team.
The senior righthander from Frankfort has compiled a 22-11 record in his career and is coming off a season in which he had a career-high eight wins and a sparkling 2.51 earned run average while allowing just two homers and 16 walks in 89⅔ innings.
He wound up 8-4 with nine complete games.
Now he is hoping to conclude his career on a high note and is off to a good start with a 3.55 ERA and a 2-2 record through 25⅓ innings.
“I feel good. I feel like I’ve been more prepared before every game than I had been before,” said the former Searsport High School star. “I’ve taken my regimen a little more seriously and have just been trying to pound the strike zone when I get in there. Be efficient. Pitch to contact like the coaches have been preaching all year. I’m trying to just follow that and pitch as well as I can.”
Adams came to Husson with a good fastball and a slider-curve and added a cut fastball last year. This year, he has better command of his changeup.
“The changeup is a work in progress, but it has been better this year than in any other year,” said Adams, who has more confidence in it. “It’s another out pitch for me, a pitch I can throw in an 0-2 or 1-2 count.”
“Adding another pitch will throw hitters off and make him even better,” said Husson third baseman Jake Arthers. “He has always been a pitcher you can rely on to come in and shut the other team down. He’s been very consistent. He throws strikes and gets outs. He puts us in position to win games.”
Husson coach Jason Harvey said Adams is a great competitor who has “taken the ball in a lot of big games for us.”
“He has a lot of movement on his ball, he works down in the zone so he gets a lot of ground balls and he hits his spots. His cutter has been his most effective pitch so far this year,” added Harvey.
Pitching has been Husson’s strength so far this season, according to Harvey.
The defending North Eastern Athletic Conference East-West champion Eagles, 29-17 last year, are off to a 7-7 start.
Junior Mark Dvilinsky (1-1, 2.08), sophomore Pat McEwen (3-1, 3.76) and freshman Joe Stanevicz (1-1, 4.73) have pitched well so far. Dvilinksy was 3-2 with a 5.48 ERA a year ago and McEwen was 1-1, 6.15. Both saw limited duty.
Adams is the only returnee from last year’s four-man rotation.
“They’ve kept us in games,” said Harvey.
The Eagles have lacked timely hitting in the early going, said Harvey, who has a lot of new faces in the lineup.
He will be looking for productive offensive seasons from center fielder Shawn Smith (.333, 2 homers, 34 RBIs, 18 stolen bases last year), left fielder Kyle Vanidestine (.319-2-22, 15 SBs), third baseman Arthers (.262-2-28), right fielder Dylan Foster (.273-1-7) and shortstop Cody McInnis (.261-1-12).
Headlining the list of newcomers are second baseman Brandon Gendreau (.400), catcher Nick Lancisi (.227) and Stanevicz. Senior DH Jason Smith is hitting .500.
Coach Amanda (Davey) Bourgoin and her Husson softball team are gunning for a fourth consecutive North Atlantic Conference championship and they have a good mixture of veterans and newcomers.
“We’re looking good,” said Bourgoin, who is scheduled to give birth to a son this weekend. “We’ve got a lot of new freshmen and the upperclassmen have stepped up.”
“Our hitting has improved,” added Bourgoin, whose team is 5-5. “Last year, we had to nickel-and-dime for runs. This year, we have kids who can get on base, kids who can steal bases and kids who can drive them in.”
Right fielder Courtney Hill stole a school-record 42 bases a year ago while hitting .348 and she is off to a .345 start this season with four steals.
Center fielder Lona Sargent (.328 last year), SS Aimee Mortensen (.331) and LF Brianna Webster (.179) are also back. Webster is hitting .304 this season, Sargent is off to a .276 start with six steals and Mortensen is at .111 but has six RBIs.
Nicole Sargent, who missed last year due to injury, is playing first base. She is Lona’s sister.
The newcomers who have earned starting spots with impressive debuts have been 2B Ashley Smith (.474-1-6), 3B Victoria Overlock (.368) and catcher Heidi Shawn (.313). Freshmen Chelsea Brennan (.235-1-4) and Kelsey Livermore (.143) are the designated hitters.
Bourgoin was impressed with her pitchers.
Junior Cody Lyon (11-11, 3.89 last year) is 2-0, 1.40 this season; sophomore Amanda Lyon (3-1, 1.73) is 1-1, 2.14; and sophomore Becca McCarty (4-1, 3.23) is 1-3, 4.57.
“The pitchers did very well on the spring trip. I think this team is definitely stronger than last year’s,” said Bourgoin.