After emerging from the stack of all the joyous Goodpasture players who celebrated by jumping on one another, none was happier than Adam Adkins.
The senior left-hander closed his perfect career on a perfect note Friday afternoon when he pitched a four-hit shutout in a 10-0 run-shortened romp over rival Lipscomb. It led the Cougars to their second straight Class AA state baseball championship.
“I’m really proud of our team and of Adam,’’ said Coach Richie Estep, whose team finished 38-4. “Adam just gutted it out those last few innings.’’
Goodpasture won the school’s seventh state championship, of which three have been piloted by Estep. But it was the first time Goodpasture has ever won back-to-back titles.
Adkins missed Thursday’s winners bracket finals game vs. Marion County when he suffered a broken right wrist and strained left (pitching) wrist. As of Friday, he was feared lost the finals, but he got clearance from his doctor Friday morning to play.
“I felt good,’’ Adkins said. “It starting hurting just little bit late in the game, but I was determined to get through it.’’
Adkins gave up a lead-off double to Ryan Emery and got out of a two-on, one-out jam with no damage in the first.
The Cougars then jumped on losing pitcher Rob Kurtz for four runs in their half of the first.
“The big early lead was big. It really helps to play for the best team in the state,’’ Adkins said, smiling.
Adkins, a UT signee, finished 12-0 this season and never lost a game in varsity career. He was 1-for-4 Friday and scored twice.
Catcher Bennett Smith pounded a two-run double on a shot down the third-base line, then Chase Snyder and Cody Lane added RBI hits in the first. Andrew Rushing smashed a two-run double, highlighting a four-run Cougar fourth. Bennett scored three runs.
Then Lane put the icing on the cake when he smashed a two-run double in the last of the sixth to give Goodpasture the 10 runs they needed.
“I was visualizing the dog-pile (players jumping on top of each other in post-game celebration) before I came up,’’ Lane said. “It was awesome. And Adam came back from the injury and pitched a great game.’’
Lipscomb never got a runner as far as third. Kevin Davis reached base three times.
“Adkins pitched very well, and they really hit the ball,’’ said Coach Ernie Smith. “But everything considered and how hard we had to fight to get to the finals, I’m pleased with our team overall.’’