NEW BRITAIN - The New Britain baseball team has been on fire, winning six straight to improve to 7-3 overall. The offense has ignited, scoring six or more runs four times over the winning streak.
The lineup is stacked from top to bottom with big names like Danniel Rivera, Josh Garcia and Will Homar. But one of the Hurricanes’ best players goes completely under the radar: second baseman Justin Adorno.
The sophomore may not be the biggest or most prominent name on the team, but his impact is unmatched. He is a constant source of production on offense, getting on base and driving in runs to help the Hurricanes. Defensively, he and Rivera have become one of the best middle infield pairings in all of Connecticut high school baseball.
But it didn’t start out great this year for Adorno. New Britain head coach Roberto Mercado admitted that Adorno, and really the entire team, got out to a rough start and struggled to get anything going offensively. But he was proud of his young second baseman for not letting those struggles get the better of him and continuing to work to get better.
“He struggled early on in the season. He’s made some adjustments. We’ve been working and he’s buying into it and it’s working,” Mercado said. “He’s producing line drives and hitting the ball hard. He’s a great kid. He’s a hard worker. Awesome kid, hard worker, great family. And he’s only a sophomore, so I get to have him for a couple more years. He’s been fun to watch.”
Along with making adjustments, Adorno thinks two big reasons he production has improved throughout the year are his confidence and work ethic.
“Basically, in my head, I think that I’m the bigger dog. So, in my mind, the pitcher can’t beat me,” Adorno said. “So with making those adjustments, I just try to work on my swing every day when I get home from practice. I just keep working to get better.”
Of late, Adorno has been a key source of offense for the Hurricanes, especially in clutch situations. His RBI double in the sixth inning against Newington last week won the game for New Britain. He also had a big two-out, two-run double in the third inning against Berlin on Tuesday helped put the game out of reach.
As the season dwindles down, pressure will be added with each passing game. Mercado admitted that while everything is going well, it will be the team’s real test when they face adversity down the stretch. But he is happy with the confidence his team has developed, especially from Adorno.
One thing is for sure: Justin Adorno will be a terror for opposing teams for the next few years.
Tyler Roaix can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org