Swift Current 57’s coach Joe Carnahan was able to deploy a diverse array of weapons when he filled out his line-up card for 48 games this season. Speed, power, and pitching were enviable characteristics after the 57’s led all Western Major Baseball League teams in stolen bases (130), home runs (51), and earned run average (3.29) on their way to a 33-15 record, second best in the 10-team summer collegiate league.
No player epitomized the offensive versatility of the 57’s more than Blake Adams, who put together one of the most dominant and well-rounded seasons in franchise history.
The 6’2’’ outfielder set franchise records with 12 home runs and 54 runs batted in while appearing in 47 of 48 games.
“I’ve had a blast up here. It is a lot of fun to play in this league,” said the Longview, TX native when asked about his record setting season.
Adams was also fifth in the league with a .360 average, led the league with six sacrifice flies, and was second with 15 hit by pitches.
“He is unbelievable,” said Carnahan. “His stats speak for themselves as far as a player goes. But what he does away from the field, inside the dugout, his preparation every single day, every single at-bat, every time he goes out there defensively, last night he made a big play in the last inning defensively, it’s all about preparation from him. It has been a pleasure to be able to watch him throughout the year and happy we can watch him a little bit more.”
The 210-pound outfielder may have all the appearances of a slugger, but he also finished tied for seventh in the league and third on the team with 18 stolen bases.
“He can run, hits for power, hits for average, defensively he is good out in left field. He is a good team guy. He is a team-first guy and he is up here to win games. Those are the guys that we like to have,” said Carnahan.
Adams simply picked up where he left off with the Tarleton State University Texans, where he hit .331 with 10 home runs in 48 games at the NCAA Division II program. He was a teammate of catcher Luis Rivas, who played in Swift Current last summer.
“Rivas actually talked me into coming up here. I wasn’t so sure when coach [Eric] Dorton called. He talked me into it, saying I need to come up here, it’s a lot of fun, it will be a blast.”
While he has produced all season for the 57’s, Adams said he has faced his share of adversity along the way to get to this point.
“I think in baseball it is very humbling. There’s always good weeks, bad weeks, good years, bad years. It’s just nice when it all comes together and it makes it seem pretty easy.”
Adams will return to Tarleton for his senior season.
“I would love to get drafted next year. We will see what happens. If nothing happens there then I will be back up here next year,” he said.
Adams and the 57’s will meet the Moose Jaw Miller Express in the opening round of the WMBL playoffs, beginning Tuesday at Mitchell Field.