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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Over the years, it’s been tough for Boston College’s baseball team to compete for an ACC championship due to the amount of travel that they have to do and the high level of Southern competition they are forced to face on a given weekend in March and April (Clemson, Miami, North Carolina, etc). Recently, however, BC has been more than just competitive not only within the ACC, but also on a national platform.
Last spring, the Eagles found themselves one win away from the College World Series in their Super Regional against ACC rival Miami after going 3-0 in their NCAA Regional against Tulane and Utah. The Eagles ultimately fell in the best-of-three series to the Hurricanes down in Coral Gables, but simply making it that far into the tournament was a sign of great things to come for the BC baseball program.
One of the main factors as to why BC has been able to become as strong as they have over the last three-and-a-half years is Walpole resident and senior infielder for the Eagles, Johnny Adams.Many in Walpole remember Johnny Adams for helping lead the Walpole-American Little League team to Williamsport in 2007, a moment and achievement that has, for 10 years now, been a defining moment in the history of Walpole youth sports. But Adams’ days in Little League were just the beginning of his incredible baseball career. After his time in Little League concluded during the summer of ‘07, Adams played AAU for the South Shore Seadogs from 2007-2009 before going on to play for legendary Walpole High baseball coach Bill Tomkins from 2009-2013.
Adams credited the town of Walpole, Walpole High, and WLL for helping mold him into the man that he has become at BC.
“I consider myself lucky to have been able to grow up in Walpole. I have been extremely fortunate to have come across such great people, full of passion for the town and its sports,” said Adams. “Whether it was the LLWS or the four years I attended Walpole High, I will forever be grateful to have had the opportunity to represent my hometown, with the best teammates and coaches I could have asked for. Growing up in Walpole has greatly prepared me for where I am today and something that I will always take with me down the road, wherever that may be.”
At Walpole High, Adams emerged as a star infielder for the Rebels, leading Walpole to two Bay State League titles during his sophomore and senior seasons. Adams was a four-year letter winner and was three times elected as a First-Team Bay State League All-Star. Following his senior season, Adams eventually earned himself a scholarship to Boston College to play baseball, following in his father’s footsteps, who played at BC and captained the 1987 team. Adams says that his father, Jay, and mother, Linda, have always been his biggest motivators, and that the two have always demonstrated the right ways to go about life to he, his brother Jimmy, and his sisters Julia and Jaxie.“I would say both of my parents were and still are my biggest role models,” said Adams. “From as early as I can remember, my mom and dad demonstrated to me the qualities of being a good-hearted person with a strong work ethic. I do my best to take these qualities with me wherever I am in life, whether that is on or off the baseball diamond.”
Once arriving at the Heights, Adams immediately worked his way into a starting role as a utility man, starting in 37 of BC’s 39 games during his freshman season. The Communications major recorded a .233 batting average with 29 hits, 13 runs scored, three doubles, 12 RBI and 16 walks. As a sophomore, Adams converted from a utility man into BC’s everyday shortstop, starting in all 54 games for the Eagles. At the plate, Adams recorded 42 hits (30 singles, seven doubles, two triples, one home run), 21 RBI, 21 walks, 10 stolen bases, and a .240 batting average.
Adams’ junior campaign was his most productive to this point in his collegiate career, placing second on the team in hits (60) and total bases (80). The 33 times Adams crossed home plate also ranked second on the team, and his 26 RBI was the most amongst all Eagle infielders (third on team overall). Adams also upped his batting average more than 40 points from the previous season to .284. After helping lead BC to a 32-20 regular season and an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, the Walpole-native caught fire in BC’s regional in Oxford, Mississippi, going 7-for-12 with four doubles, three runs scored, and three RBI. Adams’ performance earned him Regional MOP (Most Outstanding Player) and a selection to the First-Team All-Regional team.
Adams is also the two-time recipient of BC’s No. 8 uniform, an honor given to the player who has battled adversity and best represents the qualities of BC baseball. The No. 8 jersey commemorates former BC baseball great Peter “Sonny” Nictakis.
Now a senior, Adams will look to cap off his incredible collegiate baseball career at BC with a successful season within the ACC, and hopefully, another trip to the NCAA Tournament this May.