When my son played for the Indians, the kids would say that Coach Stramp would give the pitcher the ball in the first inning and say….”See you in the seventh.” The meaning behind the little joke was that Coach didn’t like/trust relief pitchers, and when you were a starter for the Indians, you were expected to finish the game. It is an overgeneralization, but as with most stereotypes there is some truth behind it.
Jordon Stafford is trying to fill some big shoes, his older brother was the Keller ace for three years and a four year letterman. Jared only lost three district games total in three years, was the DMN Newcomer of the Year and All District multiple times and is now a starter at DBU. In short, he was a Stud. I remember seeing the kids at Richland his Junior year watch Jared warm up and were actually laughing because he was only throwing in the low 80’s. They started to smack talk to each other about how they were going to run up the score on Keller…..only to strike out 15 times that night.
Jordon is a baseball player rather than just a pitcher. Although he was called up as a Freshman for the playoffs as a pitcher and got an appearance against Lewisville (The game that the picture at the top of this blog was taken at), he was really known for his defensive and offensive skills. He started at Short Stop as a Sophomore and Junior, now he plays second base and is the staff ace as a Senior. His first district start he threw a no hitter and I told his mom that I don’t know how she does it. Being a parent of a starting pitcher in 5-5A baseball is brutal, when EVERY game matters and is played like a playoff game.
Tonight against LD Bell he started the game, was pulled and then was put back in as pitcher to finish it off. So, he gets the win and the save. I don’t know all the details, but it sounds like the relief pitcher was in the process of blowing the lead and Coach Stramp had enough and put Jordon back in at pitcher to finish it. You won’t hear a complaint for Jordon’s dad, he was a pitcher in College and is a firm believer in the Nolan Ryan method of pitching, the more innings/pitches, the better. But, that is an old school thought process, and with so many kids blowing their arms out before their college/pro careers even start, the mindset has been over the last decade or so on controlling pitch counts. I’ve blogged before about Kerry Woods, and his struggles with his arm that are blamed on him pitching two days in a row during the Texas State Finals his senior year.
I like Coach Stramp, think he’s one heck of a baseball coach, but this kind of thing will bring out the wolves on him is he’s not careful.
In the time it took to type this, they put up the game summary on KellerBaseball.com
The Keller Indians took an 8-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning and narrowly escaped with an 8-5 win over L.D. Bell to improve to 14-3 on the season and 4-1 in district play Tuesday night. Jordan Stafford started on the mound for the Indians pitching 6 innings before Zack Hedrick came on in relief to start the bottom of the seventh inning. Hedrick struck out the first batter he faced. Kory Sansone was summoned from the bullpen. Sansone faced three batters before Stafford re-entered the game to close it out. Stafford struck out the three-hole and four-hole hitters to end the game. Stafford got both the win and the save in the same game. Stafford allowed just 2 hits and no runs while striking out 6 Blue Raiders over 6-2/3 innings pitched.
Offensively, Keller scored 8 runs on 9 hits along with 9 walks. Zac Wymer went 3 for 4 with two doubles and 2 RBI. Kasey Merck was 2 for 2 with a double, 3 runs scored, 2 walks, and 3 RBI. Max Muncy went 2 for 2 with a double and a RBI along with 2 walks (his 22nd and 23rd of the season). Wade Stramp and Cody Mills had the other 2 hits for the Indians.
Keller scored in the top of the second inning when Merck led off the inning with a walk and scored on a double off the bat of Wymer to give the Indians a 1-0 lead. Keller added four more runs in the top of third inning. Stafford started the inning with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Stramp. Muncy was intentionally walked and Cameron Allerheiligen followed with another walk to load the bases for Merck who blasted a double into the left center field gap to knock in all three base runners. Wymer followed with his second double of the night to score Merck with the fourth run of the inning giving Keller a 5-0 lead. The Indians added another run in the top of the fourth when Reid Coover walked with two outs and later scored on a high fly off the bat of Muncy that dropped into right center. Keller scored 2 more runs in the top of the seventh to give the Indians an 8-0 lead. Merck singled to start the inning and two batters later Mills singled and moved to second when Merck hustled to third on the base hit. Caleb Barker then hit a sacrifice fly to center to knock in Merck and two batters later, Stramp singled to knock in Mills with Keller’s final run.