Baldwin signs with Pitt

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 18, 2004

AHOSKIE – For the past five years, they have cast their baseball lot together.

Beginning next season, they will do so again.

During his formative years in Hertford County, Bears’ senior pitcher Adam Baldwin has been under the constant tutelage of Brandon Hodges.

The HCHS standout signed a scholarship to attend Pitt Community College, where Hodges serves as assistant baseball coach, on Monday afternoon at the school, sealing his commitment to the program.

Baldwin worked with Hodges during his years at Hertford County High School in many capacities, the last of which came when Hodges directed the Bears during the 2003 campaign.

Next season, Baldwin will follow Hodges to PCC after the later signed on with the Bulldogs last fall.

&uot;Mostly, it’s that guy right there,&uot; Baldwin responded while pointing to Hodges when asked why he was going to Pitt.

The Bears’ ace pitcher said he is looking forward to playing at Pitt for a number of other reasons.

&uot;I’m also glad to be able to go for free, that’s important,&uot; he said.

The other key elements in choosing Pitt was the chance to play at a good program and one that wasn’t too far from home.

&uot;His years here will help him when he gets to Pitt,&uot; Hodges said. &uot;He will learn even more about the game.

&uot;Personally, this is great for me and him,&uot; the coach continued. &uot;I’ve watched him grow over the last five years and have been very involved in his life on the baseball field.&uot;

Hodges said that Baldwin, who is being recruited to start and pitch long relief, would benefit from the guidance of Monte Little, the Bulldogs’ veteran baseball coach.

For his part, current HCHS skipper Matthew Melton said he was pleased to see Baldwin heading to college on a scholarship.

&uot;This is good for him, good for the community and good for the program,&uot; Melton said. &uot;My hope is this will encourage more kids to continue playing baseball.

&uot;Maybe the young men will see that there are more opportunities than football and basketball to get your education paid for,&uot; he added.

Melton said in his first year with the Bears, he was pleased with Baldwin’s work ethic.

&uot;I’m happy for Adam,&uot; he said. &uot;If he has worked as hard the past three years as he has this season, he certainly deserves this.&uot;

This season Baldwin is 1-1 for the Bears, but gave up only two hits while striking out 14 in the loss.

&uot;He has become a leader for us,&uot; Melton said, &uot;not necessarily vocally, but a player that leads by example.&uot;

That leadership ability will help him when he plays for the Bulldogs next season.

&uot;I think the main thing Adam has is the makeup of a good baseball player,&uot; Hodges said. &uot;He reminds me of how a college player must be made up.

&uot;Adam has all the right tools,&uot; he continued. &uot;If he works hard, he can go as far as he wants.&uot;

The senior said he was looking forward to the opportunity to do his best.

&uot;It will be more exposure,&uot; he said. &uot;I’m looking forward to playing with people who have the same all-around talent.

Baldwin said he has learned a lot at HCHS and has found out hard work is key.

&uot;Hard work achieves everything,&uot; he said. &uot;If you try your best good things will happen to you.&uot;