District News

 

Jordan Girdler: "Pitching is what I love to do."

Posted on: January 7, 2016

After a serious shoulder injury, Finneytown senior Jordan Girdler thought his pitching days were over. But hard work, hope and a coach who believed in him led to a baseball scholarship from Ohio Christian University.

From the first pitch he threw, Jordan was a star on his select baseball team in seventh grade. By high school, baseball was central to his life and identity -- traveling with summer teams, lettering in baseball at Finneytown his sophomore and junior years, being named to the All-Tournament Team at Perfect Game East Cobb Invitational in Georgia. Then, last year, came the shoulder injury. "I didn't think I had anywhere I could go in baseball," he says. "I thought I was done."

But Jordan held steady, took his time and his doctor's advice. He left the mound but played first base. He was allowed to hit but not to pitch.

The day the restrictions were lifted and Jordan could start a game, "I was on fire -- I pitched everything right where I wanted to," he remembers.

Now Jordan and his family are excited about his signing with Ohio Christian University on Jan. 15. He says he is grateful to his coach, Asif Shah, for believing he could return from his injury and to his mentor, Shawn Maus, who "helped me look at the college search as more than a baseball standpoint, as a where I see myself and what's best for me standpoint."

When he graduates this spring -- after attending Finneytown Schools since kindergarten -- Jordan will hold baseball moments as among his best memories. "I feel, when I'm on the field, that I'm at home. When I'm having a bad day, sometimes I just go up to the cages at Brent (Elementary), and I just hit until I feel better. That's pretty much my safe zone."