T.J. Adams and Connor Perry played enough baseball games in Western Pennsylvania to encounter their share of rain outs and schedule juggling.
But this week was a bit different for the two former Johnstown Collegiate Baseball League/AAABA Tournament players.
Both Adams, a Philadelphia Phillies draft pick, and Perry, a Detroit Tigers selection, play in the Gulf Coast League at the rookie level. The impending arrival of Hurricane Dorian prompted the league to cancel its final two regular-season games as well as the playoffs that had been set for the upcoming week.
The Florida State League in Class A followed a similar plan.
“I was supposed to come home on Monday. Since the hurricane is coming, they got us out,” Adams said during a telephone interview on Saturday night from his home in Mineral Point.
“The season was coming to an end anyway. This was the last weekend,” Adams said. “We had a lot of rain outs. The last month of the season we were playing 10 or 12 games a week.
“We were cramming in doubleheaders. Different experience. We were playing a lot of baseball.”
A left-handed pitcher, Adams won his first three decisions with the Phillies East team and finished 3-1 in 13 games. The Central Cambria High School and Indiana University of Pennsylvania product pitched 161/3 innings in the Gulf Coast League, striking out 13 and walking 14.
A 27th-round pick by the Phillies, Adams cemented his local legacy by recording the final out with the bases loaded in Martella’s Pharmacy’s 3-2 victory over New Orleans as Johnstown won the 2018 AAABA Tournament. He induced a swinging strikeout to set off a celebration at Sargent’s Stadium.
“The biggest adjustment as far as games was really nothing new,” Adams said. “Relax. Get comfortable. I’m still throwing the ball from 60 feet, 6 inches.
“It is a new atmosphere, with new people. Just go out there throw strikes and get the job done.
“I was down there for 21/2 months with a bunch of new guys and coaches who are real hungry,” he added. “They’re really excited to teach baseball.
“There are kids from 17 years old to 22 years old.”
Next up for Adams will be time in the Florida Instructional League.
“I’ll be there from Sept. 8 until Sept. 28. Three weeks I’ll be down there,” Adams said.
An outfielder in the Tigers’ system, Perry batted .236 (26-for-110) in 37 games in the Gulf Coast League. He scored 25 runs and had four doubles, a triple and two homers.
The former three-year Paul Carpenter Capital Advisors standout appeared in two AAABA Tournaments (2016, 2018). He was a center fielder at the University of Pittsburgh.
A Norwin High School graduate, Perry hit a grand slam on June 28, not long after the Tigers selected him in the 28th round. The hit sparked a 6-1 win over the GCL Blue Jays.
McGough stands out: Ferndale’s Trey McGough has made an impression during his first season in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. The Bucs picked the left-handed pitcher in the 24th round after his career at Mount St. Mary’s College and with Martella’s Pharmacy in the JCBL.
McGough entered Saturday with a 1-1 record in eight games with the West Virginia Black Bears in the Class A New York-Penn League. In 141/3 innings with the Black Bears, McGough had 14 strikeouts and no walks.
On Tuesday, he pitched a season-high four innings of relief at State College, striking out eight with no walks as West Virginia won 6-3.
Including nine games with the Bristol Pirates in the rookie level Appalachian League, McGough has a cumulative 3-1 record with one save and a 2.56 ERA in his first season in the minors. In 312/3 innings, the lefty has 40 strikeouts and nine walks.
500 and counting: Another AAABA League alum reached a significant milestone this week.
Indiana native and former AAABA League Most Valuable Player Michael Ryan recorded his 500th career win as a manager in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.
In his third season with the Altoona Curve in the Class AA Eastern League, Ryan hit No. 500 in an 8-1 win over Akron on Wednesday.
The visiting Curve played the Harrisburg Senators on Saturday night and close the season with afternoon road games against the Senators on Sunday and Monday.
Ryan managed the West Virginia Power in the Class A South Atlantic League in 2013-14 and the Bradenton Marauders in the Class A Florida State League in 2015-16 before joining the Curve. Ryan managed league playoff champions in Bradenton (2016) and Altoona (2017) in back-to-back years.