SUGAR & SPICE AND ... A MEAN CUT FASTBALL
Ted Drummond knew his daughter, Rosa, was ahead of other kids her age athletically when he took his family on a vacation to Florida in the winter of 2002. Rosa had earned a black belt in karate a year earlier at the age of nine and was a budding basketball player.
But what opened Drummond's eyes on the vacation was how hard his daughter was throwing a baseball. Rosa had played Little League in Rye, N.H. the prior summer as a 10-year-old and had pitched a bit but in Florida she was loudly popping the mitts of her father and brother.
Rosa's Rye Little League coach noticed the velocity a few months later and made her a pitcher. The only thing that was missing to make Rosa a top-notch pitcher in Rye - and the entire state - was control and the ability to mix up her pitches.
Enter Dave Adam, a former professional pitcher who works with kids in the Seacoast area of New Hampshire and Maine as well as southern Connecticut.
"Rosa came to me and said she wanted to get better as a pitcher," Ted Drummond recalled. "We brought her to work with Dave and it was obvious from the first lesson that
he was the most knowledgeable coach around. He improved her mechanics and her control became tremendous."
Rosa went on to make the Rye Little League all-star team as an 11-year-old, a squad that proceeded to win the 2003 New Hampshire state championship to advance to the New England Regional in Bristol, Ct.
But that was just the start of baseball success for the 5-foot-9 Rosa. She became a dominant pitcher as a 12-year-old in Rye this season and is the ace of the all-star team presently competing in the New Hampshire state tournament.
Here's the proof: Rosa went 6-0 with two no-hitters during the regular season for the Cardinals. She had a 1.17 ERA, allowed just 14 hits and struck out an amazing 82 batters - walking just 14 - in 36 innings pitched. In one game Rosa struck out a season-high 17 batters.
Working with Adam has been a key for Rosa, who has reached 65 mph on the radar gun but also has developed a two-seam sinker and cut fastball to keep the batters off balance.
"He (Adam) has given me a lot of confidence," Drummond said. "He really knows how to teach. If I'm having a problem with a pitch he works with me and tells me not to worry because it takes most people a year or longer to master that pitch. He'll help me until we get it right."
Rosa's mother, Amy, points out that Adam has not only helped his daughter but a slew of other kids who have dreams of being successful baseball players in high school and college.
"It think Dave has single handedly raised the level of baseball in this area," Amy Drummond said. "It's amazing to see all the kids that he has helped developed. Five years ago and baseball was a different game in Rye."
Adam succeeds with his pupils through coaching, motivation and fairness.
"He is so kind to them," Amy Drummond said. "He knows the right balance to motivate them."
Added Ted Drummond: "Dave has been great for Rosa and a lot of kids around here."
Next up for Rosa is a trip to Cooperstown, N.Y. - the birthplace of baseball and home of the Baseball Hall of Fame Museum - where she will compete with an area team in a week long tournament. And next season Rosa said she will take the step to Babe Ruth baseball as a 13-year-old.
Helping her take that step will be Strike Three Baseball's Dave Adam.
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