First Posted: 12/11/2014
The start of Jordan McCrum’s high school baseball career was delayed on a technicality.
McCrum has taken every step possible to be prepared early for the start of his college career.
After making up his mind during the summer before his senior year at Dallas, McCrum signed his National Letter of Intent last month to play NCAA Division I baseball at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, N.J.
McCrum arrived at Dallas midway through his freshman school year after moving from Mt. Holly, N.J. Late in preseason preparation, Dallas coach Ken Kashatus came to the realization that he could use McCrum on the varsity team.
Knowing he was close to the cutoff for such decisions, Kashatus checked with the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association office and learned that he was one day too late to declare McCrum for varsity and that the newcomer would be required to spend the season on the freshman level.
“I didn’t want to commit any infraction that would punish him or our program,” Kashatus said. “It ends up that we were a day late and a dollar short, literally and figuratively.”
McCrum excelled on that level and moved into the Dallas varsity starting lineup as a second baseman to begin his sophomore season.
“By the time he came to us, he was ready to make a contribution,” Kashatus said.
Last spring, McCrum was a coaches’ first-team, all-star shortstop and pitcher while leading Dallas to the strong finish that produced the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 championship.
Monmouth recruited McCrum primarily as an infielder, but with the knowledge that he is a potential pitcher, as well.
“They see me as a two-way,” McCrum said. “They like how I come off the mound.
“They said when I get there for fall workouts, they’ll want me to work with the pitchers, too.”
Kashatus expects McCrum to be his top pitcher next spring and be the WVC’s best infielder when he is not on the mound.
McCrum batted .378 in the Dallas championship run while also leading the team in sacrifices. He was the team’s busiest pitcher, leading the Mountaineers in appearances (seven), wins (three), complete games (two), innings (26 1/3), and strikeouts (30) while posting a 2.66 earned run average.
“He’s the best infielder we’ve had at Dallas since I’ve been here,” Kashatus said. “He’s the whole package as far as arm strength, fielding, his savvy, his knowledge, his decision-making. Plus, he handles the bat well.”
McCrum started playing baseball as a 5-year-old in New Jersey. He was a catcher until his last year of Little League on a team whose shortstop is now a Division I player. Shortstop opened up when McCrum was 12 and he moved to the position where he has spent most of his time since.
Outside of the high school season, McCrum played with Baseball U of NEPA, traveling to showcases and tournaments where he was seen by college recruiters.
McCrum took visits to Wagner and Monmouth and had recruiting visits scheduled to Hartford and Seton Hall when he made up his mind about Monmouth and canceled them.
“The coaches were great there,” said McCrum, who plans to major in marketing. “The campus is right on the beach. That was somewhat of a factor.
“They compete in the MAAC. They’re always competing for a championship. And, they have a good business program.”
Monmouth has won more than 500 games in 20 seasons under Dean Ehehalt. The Hawks advanced to the NCAA Division I tournament four times between 1998 and 2009.