Prep baseball: Brock, Adams key to Hurricane offense
HURRICANE -- Offensive potential dominates the Hurricane lineup as evidenced by the Redskins' 39 runs in two games this week, and leading the pack is Tate Brock and Connor Adams.
Brock and Adams represent two of the team's most consistent hitters, serving large roles as the team's four and five hitters in the lineup.
"No question, they've been excellent," Coach Brian Sutphin said following Hurricane's 15-1 win against Capital on Tuesday.
Brock, a catcher, entered this week's action leading the team in batting average at .417, and had two home runs and 11 RBI. Adams, a senior who splits time on the mound, at catcher, first base and right field, began the week with the team lead in home runs (three), doubles (seven) and RBI (17).
"I think both of them, they're getting a lot of extra-base hits," Sutphin said. "I think with those guys, what they've done, they look to be more relaxed and definitely confident. They've been confident at the plate and aggressive. Both those guys are driving the ball in the gap and in the outfield - both good athletes."
For Adams, the hitting success is a result of a focused mindset and the Redskins' top of the lineup reaching base, he said.
"We're just stringing together good at-bats," Adams said. "I think our whole offensive approach relies on getting the lead-off runner on every time. Our whole offense comes together when we get the lead-off runner on."
The right approach to an at-bat begins before reaching the plate, Adams added.
"Coach Sutphin and Coach (Jonathan) Meadows always talk about having tunnel vision," he said. "Tunnel vision is a big key here. That starts when you're three (batters) back, always getting your timing, tracking pitches, always ready to be the next guy up, so we're seeing the ball really well because of that."
Brock said he agreed taking the right measures before hitting provides the foundation for success when batting.
"It pretty much all relies on your pre at-bat, on deck, in the hole, getting your timing," he said. "You're not just out there, you're actually getting your timing, learning when to get your foot down, and it all comes into play once you get up to bat and it all comes easier."
As a sophomore, Brock has made big contributions to the team, following his freshman campaign in which he led Hurricane in home runs and RBI.
"Tate is a guy who has made a big jump from last year to this year," Sutphin said.
"It's tough to come in and start as a freshman. I thought, last year, he handled that well. He led our team in home runs and RBI as a freshman, and he's made strides this year, and just really been really consistent, a guy you can count on, plays hard, and we've been pleased with him."
Brock and Adams represent two of the team's most dependable hitters, but they also gave credit to senior Riley Metz, who sets the table for them as the No. 3 hitter.
"Three, four, five," Brock said before Adams added "The best three, four, five in the state."
Adams said Hurricane's loaded lineup eases the pressure knowing he doesn't have to deliver in every situation.
"It's definitely good to know you got people there backing you up," he said, "and it's good to know going into every game that the game does not count on your at-bats. You've always got people there to pick you up."
It's nice to have a back-up plan, but with Adams and Brock entrenched, the Redskins should be able to consistently count on their production this season.