March 2017

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Page 118 of 136

119 J ake Adams' baseball future was turned upside down two weeks before Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) competed in the 2016 Region XI Tournament. Adams, now a junior at the University of Iowa, committed to play Division I baseball at the University of North Dakota around anksgiving of 2015. Six months later, in the midst of an All-America season, Adams' future came into question. "We were at practice and I got word," said Adams. "Two weeks later, it was official. ey were trying to get the program back, so I was holding off (moving on)." e word, in Adams' case, was the elimination of the varsity baseball program at North Dakota. Baseball and men's golf were axed as part of state-mandated and university-wide budget cuts. "It was hard," said Adams. "I fell in love with North Dakota and had a buddy that played there. When I found out, it was heart-breaking. I had to go through the whole process again." e difference this time in recruiting came down to timing. Would schools have scholarship money and an open roster spot with three months remaining before the 2016-17 academic year began? "I had schools calling and offering walk-on spots because they didn't have much money le," said Adams. "ankfully for Sean Moore, he got me to come on a visit to Iowa and I fell in love with it." Moore was Adams' hitting coach at DMACC; he also was a former Iowa baseball player, graduating in 2015 during the program's NCAA Regional- qualifying season. Moore is currently Iowa's volunteer assistant and hitting coach. "When I came on the visit, the atmosphere, facilities, and coaching staff stood out to me," said Adams. "Everything felt like home." Adams' addition worked out well for the Hawkeyes, too. e Brandon, South Dakota, native gives the team a legitimate power threat in the middle of the order. Adams hit 42 home runs in two seasons at DMACC, including 25 as a sophomore when he garnered first-team All- America honors. Early in the 2017 season, Adams is adjusting to the pitching at the Division I level. rough seven games he is hitting .231 with seven RBIs and three runs scored. He has two home runs — a solo shot in a 4-2 win at South Florida on Feb. 18 and a two-run blast in a 9-2 victory over Alabama State on Feb. 24. "e first couple of weeks I struggled a little bit," said Adams. "At USF, I missed a couple of pitches I needed to drive. Last weekend, I was more locked in and got a feel for how everything was going to play out. "Pitchers at this level can locate a lot better, so I have to be looking for my pitch. At this level, pitchers don't make as many mistakes, but when they do, I have to be ready to punish it. When I get my pitch, I have to make sure I execute." Adams is grateful for the opportunity to play Division I baseball at the University of Iowa, even if it wasn't his original plan. "In the end, everything worked out the way it was supposed to," he said. MARCH SCHEDULE March 3 vs. Hawaii (Minneapolis) March 4 vs. Oral Roberts (Minneapolis) March 5 at Minnesota March 7 Northern Illinois March 10 vs. Villanova (Port Charlotte, Fla.) March 11 vs. Bucknell (Port Charlotte, Fla.) March 12 vs. Lehigh (DH) (Port Charlotte, Fla.) March 15 Iowa Wesleyan March 17-19 at Kansas State March 22 Bradley March 24-26 Purdue March 29 Grandview March 31-April 2 UNLV

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