The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

October 13, 2013

NLDS hero remembers AAABA Tournament

ALTOONA — Six years ago, Matt Adams smacked a game-winning hit off the Point Stadium screen in left-center field playing in front of an estimated 7,000 fans – the largest crowd he’d played in front at that juncture of his baseball career.

Last week, Adams ripped a towering two-run homer to effectively seal the St. Louis Cardinals’ 6-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the decisive fifth game of the National League Divisional Series in front of 47,231 fans at Busch Stadium.

 “It’s something all the young kids dream about, showing up to the field and walking out of the tunnel and having 50,000 plus fans screaming,” said Adams, a former Altoona Johnston Realty AAABA standout who now plays first base for the Cards. “It’s super loud and it’s really fun to go out there on the field and to be able to be a part of it.”

Adams and the Cardinals are only two wins away from advancing to the World Series after taking a pair of one-run games against the Los Angeles Dodgers and their one-two combination of aces Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke.

St. Louis advanced to the NLCS at the expense of the Pirates, who had ended a string of 20 consecutive losing seasons and made Bucs’ baseball relevant again while winning over the region’s baseball fans this summer.

Cardinals’ pitcher Adam Wainwright had stifled Pittsburgh’s hitters in Game 5. The left-handed hitting Adams put a figurative exclamation point on St. Louis’ evening with a no-doubt homer in the bottom of the eighth.

“It was awesome hitting it and knowing it was gone as soon as I hit it,” said Adams, who batted .316 in the NLDS. “The stadium erupted. Touching first base and hearing the fireworks go off, rounding the bases and going to the dugout and being surrounded by my teammates was cool.

"But I knew we had to go out and get three outs and win the ballgame.”

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