By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Some of Zane Adams’ best memories as a Millington Trojan baseball player came at USA Stadium.
He once struck out 15 players in a game on the legendary field. So when Adams led his Millington Trojans onto the field of USA Stadium March 27 to take on East Hickman, he was hoping to create another good memory at the venue.
Adams’ Trojans delivered giving him his first win as head coach beating East Hickman 7-5.
“It felt great,” Adams said. “It was hard to get. It wasn’t the best game we played, I think we had five errors. But the guys didn’t give up. They kept fighting. That’s what won us the ball game.”
Millington continued its winning ways coming back the next day beating Ripley. After a setback against District 14-3A foe Arlington March 30, the Trojans returned to Miles Park the following night beating the MHEA Eagles 6-3.
“Just their work ethic, like I said from the beginning, these guys get after it,” Adams said of his Trojans. “They don’t’ give up. We’ve actually played good baseball. We put the three aspects together and did the little things. I’ve been preaching all year, ‘When we do the little things, good things happen.’
“Saturday against Ripley we won 8-3 because we all the little things right,” he added. “Tonight we did the little things right. We bunted, we hit-and-run and we did the routine plays that won us the ball game. Hustle, from start to finish, that’s what I want is intensity.”
The intensity was lacking at first for the Trojans falling behind 1-0. In the fourth inning Millington got some pep in its step when Peyton Cochran hit a sky-high fly ball just over shortstop.
The towering pop-up confused the Eagles and landed just outside of the infield. Meanwhile Cochran’s aggressive approach had him standing on second base.
Next up Lucas VanEmelen placed down a bunt to reach base. With two runners on, Trojan Alex Phillips stroked a single to give Millington a 2-1 lead.
The next inning Millington exploded with four runs. The fifth frame began with Kameron Middleton singling. Peyton Wigington followed with a base hit.
Cochran drove in his third run of the game with a fielder’s choice to make the tally 3-1. The big blow of the inning came courtesy of VanEmelen when his base hit drove in two more runs.
To conclude the scoring for the inning Jordan Tincher drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. The Trojans were ahead 6-1 heading into the sixth inning.
The Eagles managed to score two runs in the seventh inning for the Trojans closed things out giving Wigington the victory from the mound.
The Trojans have won 3 of 4, heating up before jumping fully into the District 14-3A portion of their schedule. Adams said as a first-year head coach wins are nice but he wants to see a winning culture develop in his program on and off the field.
“I want to see that step that we’re getting there,” he concluded. “That they’re starting to understand what we’re looking for and what I’m looking for on and off the field. I want to see that growth. Once we get to April and May, that’s district. It’s a whole new season. I just want to see that gradual growth.”