Impressive Adamczyk Carries Westlake to Title
How talented is junior pitcher Tyler Adamczyk of Westlake High?
Let’s just say he’ll be able to pick any college next year. And if that isn’t impressive enough, he’ll have professional scouts scrutinizing his every move.
No one knows yet if the 6-foot-6 Adamczyk is a better hitter or pitcher, but he’s an invaluable player for top-ranked Westlake, which won the championship of the San Fernando Valley tournament Saturday night with a 5-3 victory over El Camino Real at USC’s Dedeaux Field.
Adamczyk, in his first extensive pitching appearance since recovering from mononucleosis, pitched a six-hitter, striking out 12, walking five and not allowing an earned run.
With his fastball clocked between 87 and 89 mph, he showed surprising control considering his only other appearance was a one-inning stint Tuesday against Crescenta Valley.
But Adamczyk is that good. He thrives on playing against top teams.
“I love being in pressure situations,” he said. “It’s an awesome feeling. And how you react determines how good a person you are.”
Westlake (8-0) overcame a 3-0 deficit with a four-run fourth inning. Pitcher Nick Gomez of El Camino Real (5-2) retired the first nine Westlake batters, five on strikeouts.
But the Warriors, who scored 10 or more runs in six of their previous seven games, unleashed their bats in the fourth. Cory Taillon hit a run-scoring single and Michael Nickeas contributed a two-run single for the game-winning hit.
The Warriors had trouble adjusting to Dedeaux Field. Two walks, two errors, a passed ball and a run-scoring single by Conor Jackson gave El Camino Real a 3-0 lead in the first inning.
But Adamczyk didn’t panic and didn’t let the Conquistadores get any clutch hits. He got Mike Leduc to ground out with the bases loaded in the third. He struck out Jackson with a runner on third in the fourth. He struck out three consecutive batters with runners on first and second in the fifth.
The question remains, is Adamczyk a better hitter or pitcher? He came in with 10 hits in 16 at-bats.
“I really don’t know,” Adamczyk said. “My answer is I love hitting the ball, but I love striking people out.”
Said Coach Chuck Berrington: “Swinging the bat, I don’t see a better player around and I don’t see a better prospect pitching. His future is so bright.”
The future looks bright for both teams. Westlake was held to four hits by Gomez and reliever Greg Acheatel. But it was the Warriors’ week. They played four games in five days and won them all.