SANDY — In a critical region showdown with Copper Hills, Jordan needed a big pitching performance from Jacob Dirkson.
The senior hurler delivered — and then some.
Dirkson threw a complete-game two-hit shutout to lift the Beetdiggers to a 1-0 win over the Grizzlies Tuesday afternoon, keeping Jordan alive in the hunt for the Region 3 title.
“What more could you ask for? Jacob was fantastic today,” said Jordan coach Chad Fife. “His curve was working great for him and yeah, that’s the type of performance we needed.”
Dirkson logged seven strikeouts against just two walks, keeping the Grizzlies from mounting much in terms of legitimate scoring threats.
Copper Hills’ best opportunity came in the top of the sixth when Dirkson issued both his walks to put runners on first and second with just one out. From there, however, he forced a groundout and ended the threat altogether with a strikeout of Dominique Quintana.
As usual it was a curveball that provided the third strike on that crucial out.
“When his curveball is on it’s almost unhittable," Fife said. "When the curveball isn't working he can struggle, but he really battled today and came up with some great stuff and he was definitely the difference in this one, along with the defense behind him."
Copper Hills pitcher Jordan Johnson also had a stellar outing, going the distance while allowing just one run on three hits.
"It was a great pitchers' duel today and hats off to their pitcher and the job he did," Fife said.
"Fortunately we didn't need a lot of runs today, but it's not going to be like this all the time or even most of the time," Fife said. "We need to put up more runs if we want to play well in state."
With the win, Jordan pulls one game ahead of Copper Hills in the Region 3 standings, setting up a winner-take-all scenario when the two teams square off Wednesday.
"This win keeps us alive for the region championship which is obviously everyone's goal," Fife said. "We dropped a tough one on Monday, so to bounce back like this was huge for us."