MURRAY — Errors doomed Jordan in the first two games of the highly anticipated Cottonwood series this week, but it cleaned up the defense on Friday — sort of — to avoid the Region 7 sweep.
Jordan still committed three errors on Friday, but that was still a big improvement from earlier in the week as it used a big second and sixth inning to pull away from Cottonwood for the 10-3 victory.
“Huge game just for our confidence. We know we haven’t been playing to our potential and this hopefully helps them believe now they can. We’re pretty good if we eliminate the mistakes,” said Jordan coach Chad Fife.
The three errors on Friday were an improvement from the five errors Jordan committed in each of the first two games. Just as important though was the effort Jacob Shaver turned in on the mound.
He was locating his mid-80s fastball extremely well and kept hitters off balance with his slider. He finished the game with seven strikeouts and only allowed three runs to a team that scored seven in Game 1 and nine in Game 2.
“Jake was the master today. He was fantastic,” said Fife. “He’s a warrior that’s the difference.”
Jordan got off to a great start on Friday as Hunter Swapp hit a towering first inning home run over the left field fence for the 1-0 lead.
In the second inning the 'Diggers stretched the lead to 5-0 as Tyler Fitch and Ethan He both delivered RBI doubles to punish Cottonwood, which walked two batters and also put another runner on base with a catcher’s interference.
Unlike yesterday, Jordan held onto the lead.
“Yesterday we took a 2-0 lead and we couldn’t hold it because we were throwing the baseball around the park,” Fife said.
A throwing error in the fifth inning, however, gave Cottonwood hope. The error allowed a runner to score from third cutting the deficit to 5-1, and then a two-out RBI single by Cade Perkins followed by an RBI double from Hunter Cornia trimmed the deficit to 5-3.
As quickly as the lead shrunk in the fifth though, Jordan stretched it back out in the sixth.
Jordan scored five runs in the sixth inning as nine batters came to the plate, with Swapp and Shaver delivering back-to-back two RBI hits to push the lead to 10-3. Swapp finished the game going 2 for 3 with four RBI.Comment on this story
Jordan’s first four hitters all reached base in the inning, including twice as the 'Diggers were simply trying a sacrifice bunt.
“That’s what we always say if you put pressure on teams, it doesn’t matter how good they are, pressure at this age level goes a long way. We’ve been on the other side of that pressure a few games this year, it’s nice to see it on our side for once,” said Fife.
Cottonwood is still in the Region 7 driver’s seat after winning the season series, but Jordan is still feeling pretty good about itself after Friday’s win.