Jordan Adams does not like the word “pressure”.
As one of five seniors on a 35-man roster, Adams knows what’s expected of him and has every intention of following through.
There’s just something about pressure, a negative connotation, he said, that makes him dislike using the word to describe how he feels being an upperclassmen on his team.
“You definitely feel different than as a freshman or sophomore,” Adams said. “You feel kind of responsible for more things, like expectations of the team. You kind of have to put your own stamp on the team goals and stuff like that.”
A veteran batter for the Chippewas, Jordan, of Mason City, Iowa, has improved his batting average each year since arriving at CMU.
In his freshman year, his average was a .183, while his sophomore year, he jumped to a .261.
Last year, Adams had a .264 average, with 48 hits in 182 at-bats.
So far this season, Adams sits with a .195 batting average, with 22 hits that include three doubles, a tie for a team-high three home runs and 14 RBI.
But, head coach Steve Jaksa said the numbers and statistics are not what he’s looking at.
“Jordan could hit less or more than last year, I just want him to understand the quality of what he’s doing,” Jaksa said. “We use the term quality at-bats. Batting average will take care of itself. The consistency and quality of what he does is really the most important thing we want out of him.”
Adams will be the first one to admit he is struggling to be consistent this year.
“I’ve had some really good games and some really bad games,” Adams said. “So, if I could just even those out, that’d be great.”
Jaksa said improving on consistency would be the best thing for Adams, as well as something he could do to benefit the team to get the consistent mentality into the minds of the younger teammates.
“This is his last campaign, and he wants to get a championship out of it, and the only way to do that is to get everybody on the same page,” Jaksa said. “In many ways, (being a leader) is really good for him, and, obviously, how he acts and how he plays, the other guys are going to look at that.”
Adams said part of him being prepared as a senior was because of the examples set by the players who went before him, leaving building blocks so Adams and fellow seniors would know what to do when they filled that role.
“My freshman year, I had a really good class and learned a lot from those guys,” Adams said. “Every year we’ve had some good seniors that you learn from and take bits and pieces that you put your touch on being a senior.”
Adams said if teammates come to him for advice, he’s happy to help, but, for the most part, everyone does their own thing.
Along with working on his hitting, Adams has been working hard on the field.
After playing as a catcher for his freshman and sophomore years, Adams moved to first base in his junior year and is now working on learning to play third base.
“It’s a little different for me, but it’s fun,” Adams said.
When he steps up to the plate, Adams said he is trying constantly not to think.
To clear his head, he’ll say a small phrase, such as “free and easy” or “think small.”
And although he loves hunting the fastball, Adams said he knows he’s got to connect with all the different pitches if he wants to succeed this season.
“When I’m at my best, I’m up to hitting everything,” Adams said. “I like to be aggressive, and I need to be more open to hitting different pitches.”