Nighthawks Notebook: Ex-Catcher Adcock Adjusts to Pitching Role

  • Ty Adcock

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 7/8/2018 12:10:34 AM
Modified: 7/8/2018 12:10:36 AM

Upper Valley Nighthawks right-handed pitcher Ty Adcock has always thrown the ball harder than his peers.

Use a radar gun on one of the Elon University hurler’s fastballs, and it isn’t unlikely you’ll see it hit above 90 miles per hour. But pitching for the converted catcher is a transition to which he’s still getting adjusted, both mentally and physically.

He hopes his summer in the Upper Valley will help him get comfortable.

“It’s a huge difference,” Adcock said on this week’s episode of the Valley News Hawks Talk podcast. “(As a catcher) I have to have field awareness all the time. As a pitcher, a closer to say the least, you’re just waiting in the bullpen, waiting for your time. I’m used to playing every pitch as hard as I can. It’s hard being in the bullpen.”

Nighthawks general manager Noah Crane signed Adcock with the intention of using him as a closer in the ninth inning. One month into the season, Adcock’s role has slightly changed to late-inning relief with Upper Valley head coach Jason Szafarski using multiple arms to close out games.

Adcock hasn’t gone more than an inning yet this season. He holds a 4.69 ERA in eight appearances and 7⅔ innings with eight strikeouts headed into Friday’s tilt with the New Bedford Bay Sox, allowing six hits and 10 walks.

“I’ve always had that edge against people growing up in high school,” he said. “We had another guy growing up in high school that actually threw harder than me; he got picked up by the (Milwaukee) Brewers. He was the only other guy that could compete with me on the mound.”

Adcock also has a hit and a run scored with two strikeouts in three at-bats for the Nighthawks, and he is a tentative Upper Valley representative for the Home Run Derby at the NECBL All-Star Game in Holyoke, Mass., later this month. He said he expects to play some outfield for Elon next spring.

“My biggest problem is arm strength, being able to go 20 or 30 pitches,” Adcock said. “I’ve kind of got that fire arm, but I’ve got to be able to go 20 or 30 pitches if I get into a bind. It’s hard sometimes. That’s what I’m coming up here for: get experience, strengthen my arm (and) work on some pitches.”

Poking the Bear: Szafarski, Upper Valley’s second-year manager, is apparently not afraid to call his shots.

The Nighthawks have had great success against the Vermont Mountaineers, Upper Valley’s Green Mountain State rival over the last two summers, putting together a 8-1 record against them since Szafarski, the Saint Michael’s College baseball coach, took over the Hawks in 2017. The Nighthawks took home the Governor’s Cup, awarded to the winner of the season series between Vermont’s two NECBL clubs, last year, winning six of seven games. They held a 2-0 advantage over the Mountaineers this summer heading into Saturday’s visit to Montpelier.

“I’m offering an open invitation to all @MountaineersVT to stop by our dugout on July 7th during pregame to check out the cup,” Szafarski wrote on Twitter on Friday. “We all know that thing isn’t going home with you this offseason.”

Upper Valley next hosts Vermont in a doubleheader on July 15 at the Maxfield Sports Complex.

The Longest Yard: The longest game of the NECBL season took place last Sunday at Montpelier Recreation Field and ended with some extra-inning heroics by a former Nighthawk.

The Keene Swamp Bats won the 14-inning marathon contest, 9-7, over the Vermont Mountaineers. The game lasted 4 hours, 28 minutes and required a combined 10 different pitchers. The game was tied, 7-7, headed into extras and was decided when Keene’s Charlie Concannon, a Saint Joseph’s University senior and 2016 Nighthawk, sent a one-out RBI double into center field. The hit drove in Swamp Bats’ Jacob Koos from first base for the game-winning run.

Halfway Home: At the NECBL regular-season halfway mark, here are the league’s top performers (through Thursday):

Best Hitter: Jackson Coutts, North Adams (.474 average, 36 hits, 11 runs, 20 RBIs, 3 home runs).

Best Pitcher: Kumar Nambiar, Mystic (3-0, 0.39 ERA, 4 starts, 23 IP, 18 strikeouts, 14 hits, 5 walks).

Best Offense: Ocean State Waves (.293 average, 218 hits, 43 doubles, 14 home runs, 105 RBIs).

Best Pitching Staff: Plymouth Pilgrims (3.20 ERA, 14-8, 191⅓ innings pitched, 187 strikeouts).

Josh Weinreb can be reached at or 603-727-3306.

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