West shines for Isanti Redbirds

Adam West, a 2001 Milaca High School graduate, has had some very good seasons during his eight years as a pitcher on the Isanti Redbirds town baseball team.

In 2009, the right-hander posted an 8-0 record and he was 5-3 in 2011 when the Redbirds won the Class C State Amateur Tournament.

This season, though, may have been his best ever.

West was 10-1 as he helped the Redbirds win the Metro Minny League regular-season title with a 16-2 record. The team, moved up to Class B after nabbing the state Class C title, then won the Region 2B title to advance to the Class B Super Sections last weekend where their bid to return to the state tournament came up one game short.

Over 78 innings this season, West notched 53 strikeouts and walked just 24. He allowed only 13 earned runs and had a sterling 1.50 earned-run-average.

“Overall, it was my best season,” said West, who started playing amateur baseball with the Mora Blue Devils.  “I felt strong all the way through.

“Winning the Class C state title last year was a great experience and, while we had a great season this summer, it was disappointing not to get to the state tournament. That was our big goal.”

West, 30, pitched a five-hit complete game in the Redbirds’ 6-1 win over St. Francis in the Region 2B tourney.

“Adam has been rock solid for us all year,” Isanti Manager Steve Allen told Isanti County News reporter Greg Hunt after that game. “Any chance St. Francis had, he found a way to shut them down.”

Last Saturday, West started and pitched five-plus strong innings to get his 10th season win as the Redbirds topped the Austin Blue Sox 7-6 in the Class B Super Section at Chaska. Isanti went 1-2 in the tourney as its season ended.

The Redbirds moved from the Eastern Minny League to the Metro Minny League this season and West feels the move was good for the team.

“The Metro Minny was tougher and the competition made us better,” said West, who played baseball at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

Milaca fans will remember West as an over-the-top pitcher but his delivery has changed over the years.

“I’m about three-quarters now and getting close to being a side-armed pitcher,” said West, who feels his fastball is still his best pitch.

“I’ve had pretty good control and that’s really helped me.”

West, who works for Wells Fargo, says he’s enjoyed his stint with the Redbirds and is planning to return in 2013.

“It’s a great group of players who get along well,” he said. “The core of our team has been together since the 2008 season.

“I love baseball.”