Patrick Ochs

This Mississippi State commit showed guts playing through pain for Hancock

Hancock shortstop Landon Jordan fields a ground ball against Harrison Central, March 31, 2016. Jordan played through injury during much of his junior season in 2017.
Hancock shortstop Landon Jordan fields a ground ball against Harrison Central, March 31, 2016. Jordan played through injury during much of his junior season in 2017. file

Those four weeks relegated to the bench were some of the longest of Landon Jordan’s young baseball career.

Three games into the 2017 season, the Hancock Hawk tried to leg out a single on a ground ball but felt something pull in his leg as he hit the bag.

Jordan initially tried to play through the hamstring injury but ended up doing more damage, so he took several weeks off to recuperate.

As soon as he was cleared to play, however, Jordan was back on the field. Already committed to Mississippi State, the junior could have sat out the remainder of the season to recuperate so as not to risk further injury. But that type of thinking doesn’t typify Jordan.

Opposing coaches calling in scores to the Sun Herald would periodically remark about Jordan’s efforts. He certainly garnered a lot of respect from Coast coaches for gutting out the season.

“I couldn’t watch my team go down without me,” he said. “It was hard to sit in the dugout.”

Jordan ended up playing in 14 of his team’s 23 games, but was never 100 percent.

He recalled what it was like trying to just make it through games, severely bandaged up with anything that might supply any amount of support.

“It just felt super, super tight when I would run. Every now and then I’d make the wrong move and it’d send a shock through my body,” he said. “I’d hit the ball off the wall and I could barely make it to first. I’d think about stretching it into a double but it just wasn’t worth it.”

Even severely hampered by the injury, Jordan still hit .394 with 10 RBIs and 10 runs scored. While he only hit one double and no triples — down from six and four as a sophomore — he did hit a career high three homers.

Busy summer

Back to 100 percent, Jordan, who is 6-foot, 195 pounds, said he has an incredibly busy summer ahead in an effort to get back in the swing of things, so to speak. He just returned from a Perfect Game competition in Atlanta and will soon head to Meridian for the State Games and then Oxford, Alabama, for an East Coast Pro tryout.

“I’m pretty much playing all summer,” Jordan said. “I feel like summer ball is what’s really gotten me more competitive because you’re playing versus guys who are D1 guys and that’s who you’ll be playing against on the next level.”

Hail State

Jordan has been busy — but not too busy to keep up with the MSU Bulldogs.

Although Jordan committed to John Cohen before he took over as MSU’s athletic director, he was able to meet up with new coach Andy Cannizaro shortly after the switch.

“I really like him,” Jordan said. “He’s very energetic and is always keeping good thoughts in the players minds.

“They say he’s really good with the hitters, which is good because that’s what I like to do.”

Jordan took in MSU’s Hattiesburg Regional opener against South Alabama on Friday and watched the Bulldogs on TV the rest of the regional.

“Since they lost so much to the draft, for them to come back and have this kind of season is great,” Jordan said. “Pretty impressive with it being his first season.”

With regard to his future at MSU, Jordan said he’d like to play in the middle infield but he’ll suit up wherever he’s asked to play. He pointed to what former Biloxi Indian Cody Brown has done this year, seemingly playing every position on the field at one point or another.

“I guess we’ll just have to find out when I get there,” he said. “I really want to get up to Starkville and play.”

There have been rumors from time to time that Jordan might rejoin the football team for his senior season, but the rising senior said he’d prefer just focus on baseball.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs