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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Westlake Has Ace, Trumps Royal

High school baseball: Adamczyk is overpowering early and Warriors knock Highlanders out of Marmonte lead, 10-2.

April 07, 2001|JOHN KLIMA | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

WESTLAKE VILLAGE — Mike Nickeas of Westlake High removed his glove and, with obvious pride, displayed swollen fingers earned from catching Tyler Adamczyk for seven innings.

Adamczyk's dominating display of first-inning fastballs established the mood for the Warriors, who scored three runs in the bottom of the inning and went on to drop Royal from first place, 10-2, in a Marmonte League game Friday.

"Look how swollen that hand is," Nickeas said. "Tyler came out firing almost nothing but fastballs. He [was on Royal hitters] so quick. That fired us up."

While he put Royal on ice, the Warriors broke a slump with 16 hits in what Coach Chuck Berrington called the team's best offensive performance of the season.

The Warriors (11-3-1, 4-1-1 in league play) moved percentage points ahead of the Highlanders (12-3, 5-2).

Adamczyk (3-0) pitched a six-hitter, struck out seven and walked six.

In the first inning, he struck out two and threw nine fastballs, all clocked from 90-92 mph.

"That's the most dominating inning he's thrown all year," Berrington said.

Westlake pieced together four consecutive hits in the first.

Run-scoring singles by Nickeas and Adamczyk gave Westlake a 3-0 lead.

Jamie Hesselgesser and Luke Riordan each had three hits, including Riordan's two-run home run in a five-run third inning.

The Warriors never trailed and Royal never caught up to Adamczyk.

"After the first inning, I told our offense, 'Hey, you lost the game right there by not swinging the bat,' " Royal Coach Dan Maye said. "We let them set the tone and come right at us."

Westlake, which was ranked nationally to start the season and struggled in early Marmonte League games, knocked out Dan Fischer (4-2) in the the second.

"We're getting better at the team game," said Adamczyk, who has signed with California and was being watched by several pro scouts.

"I was almost where I should be [Friday]."

Not that it was any consolation to Maye.

In order to win the Marmonte League, the Highlanders may have to beat the Warriors--and Adamczyk--when the teams play a rematch in the final game of the regular season May 11 at Royal.

"We've seen pitchers just as good as [Adamczyk] and we've handled them," Maye said. "It's hard to win if you don't swing the bat."

Nickeas went home to ice his glove hand.

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