By RYAN HAYNER
---- — The Capital Region has become a second home to Jordan Keysor.
The Cadyville native has spent the last three-plus seasons pitching for the Skidmore Thoroughbreds, and in the last two summers, he has taken the mound for the Glens Falls Golden Eagles of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.
But today will be extra special for Keysor as Skidmore hits the road to play Plattsburgh State, giving the senior southpaw a chance to pitch in front of family and friends. The Thoroughbreds have played the Cardinals once during Keysor’s time, and that was in Saratoga.
“I’ve been playing baseball in this area in the last four years in the Glens Falls and Saratoga Springs area, so it does kind of seem like a second home to me,” he said. “But nothing beats this opportunity to come back to my real hometown and play there.”
Keysor, a former All-CVAC pitcher with Saranac, has played an integral role in the Thoroughbreds’ two Liberty League championships over the past three years. As a freshman, Keysor was a setup man on the team’s title run.
Last season, he pitched seven strong innings to lead Skidmore to a win in a playoff elimination game. Two days later, he entered the championship game in the eighth inning as a reliever with two men on and no outs. He induced two pop outs, a groundout and then pitched a scoreless ninth for the save and the title.
“He’ll do whatever you need. He just wants the baseball,” Skidmore coach Ron Plourde said. “Without him, those two championships, I’m not sure they have would have happened.”
Keysor said last season’s championship was his top moment with Skidmore.
“We lost our first game in the tournament, and we rallied to win (four) games in a row,” he said. “In those five days, we were going hotel to hotel, we didn’t have reservations … We fought all the way back.”
Keysor is turning in perhaps his finest season for the Thoroughbreds. Though he has a 1-4 record, Keysor has a 2.60 ERA in 34.2 innings, allowing 33 hits with 30 strikeouts and 12 walks. Opponents are hitting just .246 off him.
The Thoroughbreds have struggled this season with an 11-16 record (7-11 in conference play) but have won four of their past five, three of them in the Liberty League. Keysor picked up his first win of the season on Saturday, tossing a seven-inning shutout against league foe Vassar.
“This last weekend, he was scheduled to go on Day 2, (Sunday). He asked if he could have the ball on Day 1,” Plourde said. “I don’t always do that, but when a senior like that wants the baseball, you give it to him, and I think that speaks to how much he wants (the ball).”
For the last two summers, Keysor also has excelled with the Golden Eagles, helping them get to the league title game last year.
“He was one of the top pitchers, and this is a league made up also of Division I players; Jordan was one of the best pitchers on his team last year, and he did a great job the summer before,” Plourde said.
Keysor, a business economics major, said he is mulling over a job offer in Charlotte, N.C. He would like to keep pitching, whether it is in a professional or local men’s league.
“There’s no place I’d rather be than on the baseball field,” he said.