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Blazers star Mills signs with Charlotte

April 11, 2003|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

It's a funny thing, how distant memories often lead to decisions that affect one's future. Clear Spring senior Adam Mills' memories helped lead him to the University of North Carolina-Charlotte on a baseball scholarship.

Mills, a star pitcher for the Blazers, listed North Carolina colleges as his top five choices last fall, with visions of a family vacation years ago still dancing in his head.

"I went there once as a kid down to Kitty Hawk Beach, and ever since I was down there as a kid, I liked it," Mills said.

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"All through my life, I've always had thing for North Carolina."

Thanks in part to baseball, Mills will get a chance to spend four years there.

Mills won six games for the Blazers during the regular season last year, compiling a 2.41 earned run average in the process. He also hit four homers and drove in 17 runs as Clear Spring finished 15-5.

But it was Mills' stint with the Mid-Maryland Red Sox - a fall team designed to give prep players a chance to play in front of college scouts - that led to UNC-Charlotte, a Division I team in Conference USA, recruiting him.

"We were playing at Old Dominion College, and an assistant coach saw me on the last game of the trip," Mills said. "Right after I got done pitching ... he talked to me right away. He liked my speed and liked my quick motion."

Mills quickly signed with the 49ers in November.

"I was real excited about it," Mills said. "All the scouts I talked to this fall, I couldn't get anyone to see me from North Carolina. It worked out, and I got lucky."

The early signing gives Mills a chance to focus solely on baseball, while most seniors fret over which college to attend.

"It gives me a chance to relax and work on things and not have to worry about what's coming this fall as far as getting into the college I want," Mills said.

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