The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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High School Sports

June 29, 2014

Season to remember for Patriots’ Adkins

Independence SS named Register-Herald Player of the Year

BECKLEY — Merely returning to Charleston for another shot at a state championship was not good enough for Independence. The expectation was always to bring home the trophy.

The Patriots gave it a try, but fell 5-2 to Bridgeport in the state title game.

The season may not have ended the way the team wanted, but it was one to remember for the seniors. One of them was Wyatt Adkins, who has been named the inaugural Register-Herald Player of the Year in an extremely tight vote.

Adkins, a senior shortstop, garnered 21 points, one ahead of PikeView’s Austin Cordell and two more than Wyoming East’s Christian Hedinger.

Greenbrier West’s Jared Jennings was fourth and Greenbrier East’s Jonathan Carr fifth.

Adkins capped his career with a second consecutive first-team all-state selection. He had a monster senior year, hitting .477 with seven home runs, 10 doubles and five triples. He also drove in 33 runs and scored 50 from the leadoff spot.

As they say, Adkins would trade it for that state title that has eluded Independence since its 1990 championship.

“That was our expectation more than anything,” Adkins said. “Even from December when we started our winter workouts. All we wanted was to make it back to the state tournament.”

Everything looked good when Indy rocked Fairmont left-hander and Marshall signee Austin Norman 11-6 in the semifinals. Fairmont scored three unearned runs in the seventh when the game was already in hand.

But one bad inning cost the Patriots in the loss to Bridgeport. Even then, it looked like things were setting up nicely for Independence in the seventh.

With one out, Chris Mills and Parker Milam walked to bring the top of the order and Adkins back around. But Adkins popped out and Brian Sexton struck out to end a long at-bat and finish the game.

“That was exactly what we needed,” Adkins said. “We had the bottom of the order up and they got it back to the top. You couldn’t ask for a better situation. We just couldn’t close the deal.”

Adkins now is ready to start a new chapter of his baseball life. He will play collegiately at West Virginia Wesleyan, where he will not only be joined by all-state teammates Brad Huffman and Jeremy McGinnis, but also will reunite with Drew D’Angelo, with whom he transfered from Oak Hill in 2013.

“I’m excited,” Adkins said. “It’s a nice school and it’s a good baseball program. Coach (Randy) Tenney has done a great job up there. I think we will all have a chance to play. That’s a big deal.”

— E-mail: gfauber@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @GaryFauber.

 

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