06/02/13 — All-Area baseball: Pate named player-of-the-year

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All-Area baseball: Pate named player-of-the-year

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on June 2, 2013 1:53 AM

A fierce competitor, a Division I talent on the field, a hard worker in the classroom and a leader by example.

Adam Pate has been each of those things for the Charles B. Aycock varsity baseball program over the past three seasons. He helped the Golden Falcons win 18 games, and take the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference regular-season and tournament championships.

For his efforts, Pate is the 2013 News-Argus All-Area Baseball Player-of-the-Year.

One of just four seniors returning off a team that finished state runner-up in 2012, Pate assumed a larger leadership role for the Golden Falcons in 2013. Whether it was showing up prepared to practice each day, laying down a sacrifice bunt in a key situation or finding the right words for a teammate, Pate always set the proper example.

"I sure hate to see him go," Davis said. "Not just because he's a great baseball player, Adam is a great person. In the classroom, his leadership at school and at practice, that's going to be missed."

Pate also let his play on the field do some talking as well. The University of North Carolina signee finished the season with a .419 batting average, 31 hits and 22 RBI. Pate also hit five home runs and had seven multi-hit games.

"A lot of games I would get pitched backwards to," Pate said. "Sometimes I would go up there and be ready for a first-pitch curveball and hit it. I liked hitting third this year a lot and being more of an RBI guy."

Pate's impact offensively was not just limited to the plate, but he also wreaked havoc on opponents while on the base paths as well. He was 27 for 29 in stolen-base attempts this year, including a seven stolen-base effort in a win at Southern Wayne.

"You have to get on first," Pate said. "You also have to know when a good count is to steal. I love to run and I love to get into scoring position for the guys hitting behind me. When I got to first base my goal was to score and I wanted to do whatever it takes."

The ECC Player-of-the-Year, Pate played a number of different positions. He saw time in the outfield and infield and was also a fixture in Aycock's pitching rotation. Pate went 10-4 on the mound with a 2.16 earned run average. The right-hander tallied 68 strikeouts in 61 2/3 innings pitched with just 18 walks.

During Pate's three years in a varsity uniform, the Golden Falcons finished 57-25 with a 27-9 mark against ECC opponents. Although his high school career may be over, Pate's impact on Aycock's program can't be measured in wins or statistics.

"These younger guys needed somebody to look up to and Adam was the perfect example," Davis said. "He is going to be very successful at Carolina and gives the younger kids a chance to say, 'if I work hard enough maybe I'll get that chance one day'."