Prospect League

Nelson turns in best outing of summer for Gems

Adam Nelson
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jul. 12, 2018 12:20 am

HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Adam Nelson isn't a fan of the Prospect League's pitch count rules.

It's easy to understand why after watching him pitch Wednesday night.

The 6-foot-3 right-hander from Tioga, La., was dominant in the Quincy Gems' 4-2 victory over the Hannibal Hoots. He allowed just three hits in 5 2/3 scoreless innings, and he didn't walk a batter while striking out four.

He only left the game because he had thrown 82 pitches -- three shy of the 85-pitch limit.

"I hate the pitch count. I'm not going to lie to you," he said.

Nelson had two other solid five-inning starts for the Gems, allowing one run each time, but assistant coach Pat Robles said Wednesday's outing was Nelson's best this summer.

"He threw well, and he threw a lot of strikes. What else can you say about the kid?" Robles said.

Nelson worked quickly -- so quick, in fact, that home plate umpire Tim Burch once had to call time as Nelson was preparing to throw a pitch.

"I'm big about tempo," Nelson said. "You can't give the batters time to catch their breath. I like to mix my pitches, and if they can't sit there and process what's coming, it's to my advantage."

Even Hannibal manager Clayton Hicks was impressed.

"He pounded the zone, and he was efficient," he said. "He attacked and put us in swing mode."

Nelson gave up two singles in the third inning but retired 10 of the next 11 batters before leaving the game.

His earned run average was at 5.52 entering Wednesday's game, thanks to a tough start on July 5 against Terre Haute when he allowed seven runs in four innings.

"That was a bad day," he said.

He explained an adjustment he made that helped on Wednesday.

"I was a lot more relaxed and led my body throw the ball," Nelson said. "Even in the past, I tend to want to throw the ball with my arm and not let my body throw it."

"We've been working with Nelson," Robles said. "We do a good job as a staff of implementing different stuff as far as player development. You want them to leave better than they were when they came here."

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