First Posted: 7/31/2009
In a league featuring big-time baseball players from big-time schools, it was Jordan Jessup of small-town Pilot Mountain that set one of the biggest records of the Carolina-Virginia Collegiate League.
The Kernersville Bulldogs Jessup, an East Surry graduate who pitched for Surry Community College this past school year, broke the CVCL record for strikeouts when he ended the regular season with 70, 10 more than the previous record. The previous standard was an accumulation of the regular season and postseason tournament. Jessup, who will throw the first game of the postseason tourney this afternoon at the Hickory Crawdads stadium, needed only the regular season to shatter the record.
Midway through the Bulldogs season, it became apparent Jessup was on pace to reserve a spot for himself in the record book. From that point on, it became his mission.
Thats one thing I wanted to do this year, he said. I wanted to set that, especially when I saw I had a better shot at doing it. It feels pretty good, to be honest with you.
Because East Surry doesnt keep a record book, Jessup said he was unsure if he ever accomplished a feat like he did this summer. Either way, he was most proud of doing what he did against competition that featured ACC, SEC and Juco players.
This means a little bit more because in college the hitters are a little bit different, a little bit better than they are in high school, Jessup said.
The future Appalachian State hurler said playing for Kernersville head coach Dave Ijames, an associate scout for the Kansas City Royals, helped him play his best over a long season.
Coach Ijames, hes a real good coach, Jessup said. Hes taught us how to do stuff on our own to keep in shape. Hes teaching us how to care for our arms better. Thats one thing I learned, how to recover quicker.
The right-hander finished the regular season with a 7-1 mark, his only loss coming during a botched save opportunity. His earned-run average was a paltry 1.29, as he allowed 40 hits in 48 2/3 innings pitched. He had 19 walks to go against his 70 strikeouts and fired four complete games for the first-place Bulldogs (41-7, 31-4 CVCL).
I had a really good summer, Jessup said. This is probably one of the best teams I ever played on.
Going out the first day, you see theres guys from Wake (Forest) and everything, it makes it real difficult to do these types of things, Jessup said of setting the strikeout mark against top-level competition. Ive been real fortunate.
Jessup said that above all, the biggest thrill was getting a chance to make a few new acquaintances.
The best thing was getting to meet my teammates, he said. Baseball has opened up doors to me to meet new people. Its nice when youre coach says Youre pitching today and everyone in the locker room supports you.
When you happen to be a record-setting pitcher, it cant be too hard to get that kind good will from the club house.
Contact Ed Phillipps at [email protected] or 719-1921.