Tuesday, May 6th
ORLEANS, VT -- Jordan Poutre loves baseball.
"Ever since I was little it's kinda been my thing.", says Poutre "When I was two years old I always had a baseball bat in my hands or a whiffle ball. It just always has been a part of my life."
The junior three sport star at Lake Region High School has already established himself as one of the top pitchers in the state. And though baseball is a team game, Poutre thrives on the one-on-one battle between the pitcher and hitter.
"It feels good because you know it's just you and the batter.", explains Poutre. "It's a competition between you two and you just block everything out."
It's a matchup Jordan often wins with that most glamorous of pitching statistics...the strikeout. Poutre rung up 49 batters as a freshman, then burst on the scene last year striking out 99 in 66 innings. Those 99 K's broke a school record that had lasted for 33 years. The player with the best seat in the house, catcher Eric Burnham, has witnessed a lot of frustration.
"Most of the batters are watching the ball go by and going, 'Oh my god, that's a fast pitch.' Other than that, they're normally walking back to the dugout with their head down.", says Burnham.
Even though he's a junior, Jordan has been voted a captain by his teammates. He says that leadership role is one that's come natural to him.
"In the dugout getting the guys up.", says Poutre. "Make sure everybody's fine. Just making sure everybody works hard."
"This is his passion, this is his game and he knows a lot about the game as a youngster.", says head coach Vince Buttice. "I felt that this was his role. He's a leader. If the kids our looking up to him as a leader, let's put him in that leadership role."
When Jordan is on, like earlier this season when he struck out 14 in a game, things can get a little boring for the guys in the field. But it also motivates them even more to make the plays when they have too.
"I think our defense really comes together because we know if he's on like that we've got to be on for him.", says senior captain Brandon Wells.
This winter, with Poutre as the point guard, the Lake Region boys basketball team won its first ever state championship. The baseball team is also searching for it's first state crown. On this day, the Rangers improved to 4-1 behind Poutre's complete game one hitter, and they are making plans for a trip to Centennial next month.
"That's a huge goal.", says Poutre. "Some of us have never even played on that field before. They don't even know what it looks like, and this school hasn't even heard of that field for a while. So it would be nice to get back there."
--- Mike McCune
PO Box 4508