KEARNS Orem pitcher Nate Adamson was closing in on a personal achievement on Monday evening before he was asked to give it up for the good of his team.
Adamson had thrown five no-hit innings, and his team was in complete control in its 10-0 elimination-game win over Bonneville in the 4A state tournament at Kearns High. With pitchers only allowed to throw 14 innings in a week, Tigers coach Gary Miner pulled Adamson out of the game prior to the sixth inning to save his ace's arm for possible work later in the state tournament.
Adamson watched sophomore Harrison Gray throw a perfect sixth inning, and he shared the glory of tossing a no-hitter with him.
Anyone who knows Adamson won't be surprised to learn that the senior righty was just fine with the move.
"It's the team win that counts," Adamson said. "I know it's going to be a long week if we keep on winning. It's a smart move, I guess."
For the Tigers, the move was a no-brainer. Adamson threw just 60 pitches against the Lakers. He improved his pitching record to 11-2 on the season, and he should be able to throw a few innings if his team advances to play on Wednesday. He said he was fine with giving up his no-hit bid, as long as he gets another opportunity to pitch this week.
"We want to battle for as long as we possibly can," Miner said. "We're not here for personal stats. Nate is a great kid, and he does a great job for us. He's a perfect player. He's everything a coach could ask for."
Adamson got all he could ask for from his defense on Monday. The Tigers committed an error in the first inning but made no mistakes the rest of the way. Travis Strong made a couple of difficult catches in center field to prevent Bonneville from getting anything started on the base paths.
"The defense was at the top of their game, and that's how it's been all year," Adamson said. "There were some sweet catches in center field."
The Tigers did little at the plate until exploding for seven runs in the fifth. Strong hit a lead-off double, and C.J. Harrison's two-run double gave Orem a 5-0 lead. Jeff Mella, Colton Baird and Josh Hamblin each hit RBI singles in the fifth. Hamblin ended the game with an RBI single in the sixth.
"It was an all-around effort on the hits," Miner said.
Miner was somewhat surprised by Orem's stellar play on Monday. He compared how his team is influenced by momentum to a roller-coaster ride. After losing to Dixie last Wednesday, he wasn't sure how the Tigers would perform against Bonneville.
Orem now has momentum on its side in the one-loss bracket, and looks to be a tough out this week."There was not a lot of positive energy (after the Dixie loss)," Miner said. "We got that bad taste out of our mouth, and hopefully we'll put a good string together this week.