By Tom Price Jr.
Early in the the baseball season, Exeter product Adam Pettyjohn saw his season derail after suffering four consecutive losses.
If the pressure of playing on a new team wasn't enough for the 26-year-old who recovered from illness last year only to be released by the Detroit Tigers organization, he was now playing in front of friends and family as a member of the San Francisco Giants Triple-A franchise the Fresno Grizzlies.
Pettyjohn, who played for Fresno State and makes his home in Visalia, was quickly removed from the starting rotation.
"Obviously it wasn't the ideal situation for me and I wasn't real happy, but being in the bullpen gave me an opportunity to get my confidence back and get back on track," Pettyjohn said. "I worked on a lot of little things, nothing really mechanical, it was just getting my velocity back."
In his last outing on Monday he was right where he was during his stint in the Majors, reaching 89 mph on the radar gun.
"I feel just like I did two to three years ago," he said. "The bite on the breaking ball is there, it is just a matter of getting it honed in. I just needed a couple of good outings."
Pettyjohn says pitching in front of his family had nothing to do with his slow start, in fact, slow starts are part of his forte.
"I don't know why, but for some reason I always get off to a slow start and this year was no different," Pettyjohn said.
"You want to pitch well in front of your friends and family, but once I get on the mound it's all the same, you have to concentrate and make pitches."
Pettyjohn did not pitch on May 29. In his May 31 outing at Salt Lake, he pitched 1 1/3 innings and allowed eight hits and 7 runs before being pulled out of the game. The Grizzlies came back to win the game 10-9.
His next schedule start is June 3, in Portland.