The numbers would suggest that left-handed pitcher Tim Welch was happy with his junior season at Portsmouth High. Welch, after all, finished 5-0 with an earned run average below 2.00.
Not bad, right?
Well, not exactly.
"I walked way too many guys," Welch said. "I was falling behind in counts right away."
So Welch made a visit to pitching guru Dave Adam at StrikeThreeBaseball. Adam was familiar with Welch, who started attending his camps as a rising 10-year-old standout in the Portsmouth Little League.
"Tim's got a great makeup. He's a hard worker on and off the field," Adam said. "He was in great shape and ready to put it all together but he lacked control."
So Adam broke out the video camera and had Welch throw 20 pitches. The two then sat down and Adam analyzed.
"He was pulling off the ball with his head, his release points were altered," Adam said.
The two worked on getting Welch's body square and his momentum going forward. After the adjustments Welch was ready, as Adam said, "to put it all together".
Welch did just that as a senior this spring for Portsmouth. Instead of falling behind in the count, Welch was consistently ahead.
"It changes everything when you throw strike one," Welch said.
Welch was amazing all season, not allowing an earned run, striking out 83, walking just 20 and allowing only 16 hits in 52 innings pitched. The result for Welch was a 9-0 record to lead unbeaten Portsmouth to the New Hampshire Class I championship, its first state title in 20 seasons. Included was a 10-strikout, three-hitter in a 6-0 win against Bow in the finale at Merchantsauto.com Stadium in Manchester.
"I never thought I could have put together a season like that," Welch said.
Welch said working out with Adam in the winter was a major reason for his success in the spring.
"He showed me on video what I was doing wrong," Welch said. "And he gave me different workouts to do to strengthen my (pitching arm). Plus, Dave motivated me to work hard every week, which was a lot better than just throwing by myself with no direction. It paid off."
Welch will take his four and two-seam fastballs, a curve and changeup to Brunswick, Maine, where he will continue his baseball and academic careers at Bowdoin College.
And, thanks to some help from pitching guru Dave Adam at StrikeThreeBaseball, he will also take along his pinpoint control.
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