By Bryon Besse (story and video)
OTTAWA- Can any of you remember what you did on your 18th birthday? I know that I can’t remember what I did this year let alone the nineteen I have celebrated since my 18th. Then again, I didn’t take the bump on senior day in my final regular season high school baseball game and throw 5 2/3 of no-hit baseball like Jordan Jansen did. The senior right-hander treated himself and his teammates to 5-0 birthday-bash victory over the visiting Panthers of United Township in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader.
“Coach (Don) Heaberlin called a great game,” Jansen said of his skipper’s pitch selection. “He had a lot of confidence in my breaking ball and we were able to keep the hitters off balance for the most part.”
Other then a base-on-balls in the top of the first, Jansen rolled through the United Township lineup through the first five innings. Jansen threw three pitches for strikes, recording seven punch outs on the afternoon to go along with his one free pass before walking a trio of Panthers upon recording the first two outs in the sixth. Fellow senior Buddy Ahlstrom came on in relief and set down United Township’s sixth hitter to get out of the bases loaded jam.
“In the past he has been a one-pitch pitcher,” Heaberlin said of Jansen. “If he’s got his curve-ball and slider, his slider is a little bit quicker and doesn’t break as much as much as his curve-ball, that’s his ability to keep the batters off balance by throwing those two pitches.”
Ottawa (24-10, 12-3) jumped on the Panthers in the first with Michael Hermosillo delivering a two-out single, stealing second and scoring on an errant throw from the UT catcher to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead after one.
Ottawa tacked on another run in the third with Jordan Grobe reaching on a base-on-balls and scoring on an RBI base hit from Hermosillo to stretch the lead to two. Buddy Ahstrom added a run in the bottom of the fifth while Tabor Griglione and Will Hoffman added runs in the sixth from RBI’s off the bat of Grobe and Ahlstrom.
Buddy Ahlstrom recorded the save in this one giving up the lone Panther hit in game one with two-outs in the ninth but manage to salvage the shutout. Hermosillo (3 hits, RBI, run, SB), Colton Trager (2 hits), Ahlstrom (hit, RBI, run), Brazon Wheeler (hit), Kyle Wahlbaum (hit), Tabor Griglione (hit, run), Alex Miller (RBI), Grobe (RBI) all contributed offensively on this senior day.
“The Seniors have been great,” Heaberlain said. “They are just a pleasure to work with all six of them (Jansen, Dustin Dekreon, Grobe, Ahlstrom, Wood and Noah O'Dell) and they understood their roles all six of them. It was a great group of seniors and we had a great season.”
Ottawa dropped game two by the score of 6-4. Hermosillo (2 hits, HR, 2 runs, RBI), Wahlbaum (2 hits, RBI, run), Griglione (hit, RBI, run), Ahlstrom (hit), Alex Miller (double, run) and Grobe (2 BB) contributed offensively.