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High school baseball: Fast start propels Jordan past Olympus for 5A championship

SHARE High school baseball: Fast start propels Jordan past Olympus for 5A championship
We knew we just had to make the first punch, that’s what our mindset has been the whole season. – Jordan’s Jacob Shaver

OREM — A lot was made about Olympus’ six-game winning streak through the one-loss bracket over the past week to advance to the 5A state championship.

Jordan made sure that momentum came to a quick and emphatic end on Friday at UVU.

The ‘Diggers scored eight runs in the top of the first inning and cruised from there for the 11-1 victory over Olympus in five innings to claim its third state championship in school history, and first since 2014.

Jordan finished the season with an 18-game winning streak, including five blowout wins during a dominant playoff run.

Watch full replay of the game

“Finally we got them all on the same page and they went crazy those last four weeks,” said Jordan coach Chad Fife.

While Jordan’s hitters were busy spraying the ball around the field, Jordan pitcher Gage Edwards was in his customary groove on the mound as he located his fastball extremely well.

He struck out the game’s first batter, finishing with five strikeouts and only allowing three hits. Not bad for a guy who was pretty nervous leading up to the championship. Edwards said advice from his coaches helped settle him down.

“They just reminded me about all the work I put in and the countless hours and I was ready for this moment,” said Edwards, who finished the season with a 9-1 record. “Everything felt pretty good, but that’s not too difficult when the best defense in the state is behind me. I just go out there and fill the zone up, they’ve got my back.”

Jordan’s bats had his back as much as anything on Friday.

Jordan tagged Olympus starter Harrison Creer for eight runs on six hits in the bottom of the first as 12 different batters came to the plate.

The eight runs was enough support to last Edwards for weeks.

Jacob Shaver led off the game with a double for the Beetdiggers, who then loaded the bases with a single by Hunter Swapp and a walk to Noah Hennings.

Jordan went ahead 1-0 on a sacrifice fly by cleanup hitter Conner Hughes, but Creer got the next batter to pop up for the second out and was one out away from escaping a first-inning jam.

He beaned Gage Carson on a 2-2 count, however, to load the bases again — and the wheels came off quickly thereafter. Drew Jones singled in a pair to push the lead to 3-0 and after a wild pitch scored another, Jordan No. 9 hitter Noah Bachman tagged a three-run homer to left field pushing the lead to 7-0.

Jordan wasn’t done either with the top of the line-up coming back up. After Shaver walked, Swapp tripled to center field for the 8-0 lead.

“We knew we just had to make the first punch, that’s what our mindset has been the whole season,” said Shaver.

Jordan tacked on another run in the third inning on a passed ball, and then made it 10-0 in the fourth inning on an RBI single by Kyson Stein.

The ‘Diggers were in position to close out the game in four and a half innings, but Olympus catcher AJ Affleck ripped a home run over the left field fence to cut the deficit to 10-1.

It merely delayed the mercy run a half inning.

Swapp singled in the fifth inning, and after moving to third base on a pair of wild pitches, his pinch runner Ricky Medina scored on a Hennings sacrifice fly to center field to start the party at home plate.

Swapp finished the game going 3 for 4 to lead the charge for Jordan at the plate.

Jordan scored in double digits in all five playoff wins, and during its 18 game winning streak it averaged 12.9 runs. It all happened after losing its first two games in the Cottonwood series to start region play 0-2.

Jordan never lost again.

“We knew the Cottonwood series didn’t define us. We all got together after that up in our clubhouse, the seniors brought us together, and we just talked about right now is the time to get on a roll,” said Shaver, who finished with a team-leading 37 RBI this year. “We just tried to learn from that series. It didn’t get us down.”

Jordan’s junior leadoff hitter finished the game 1 for 2 with two walks and two runs scored. He was one of seven different Jordan hitters who drove in at least one run.