After all, you’re talking about high school kids.
The Chesterton baseball team may have only won four games last year, but
that hasn’t hindered the confidence level and expectations as the 2011
season gets underway tonight at home against Hammond Gavit.
“We’ve got great kids back with great attitudes,” Chesterton coach Jack
Campbell said as his team gets ready for Monday’s first pitch scheduled for
4:30 p.m. “After winning four ballgames, you’d think that fingers would be
pointing at other kids and coaches, but we saw none of that. Practices were
always great and we were in about every game.
“We played great against the best teams and one mistake would determine the
outcome. I think they’re excited and I’m excited about this year.”
The Trojans victory over No. 1 ranked Crown Point helps feed the fire coming
into this year and will have to burn nightly in one of the State’s top
“Our conference is really good,” Campbell said. “We play a lot of games
early so that we can play a lot of kids and see just where we are and what
they can do.”
Pitching is always the key in baseball and the Trojans’ should be good on
“We play six games in the first week and that’ll test your pitching,”
Campbell said. “Early in the year we never let our pitchers go to long, if
we get four or five innings a night that would be great.”
Chesterton’s ace should be senior Jordan Peterson, an all-conference
selection last year, who has already committed to pitch at St. Joseph’s
College with junior Jake Post as the team’s solid No. 2 starter.
“At whatever level you are talking about, pitching is the name of the game,”
Campbell said. “With Jordan and Jake at the top of the rotation, we’ve got
two really good ones. Jordan was all-conference last year and only won one
game I think. He always got the toughest assignments and it shows what the
rest of the league thinks of him.”
Especially in the first week, the Trojans will also turn to senior Alex
Olson and Bobby Humphrey on the hill.
The most important thing to go along with pitching is solid defense and that
should be another strength for the Trojans.
“We’ve got most of our kids back from the end of last year,” Campbell said.
“We expect to have good pitching and defense and hopefully create a run or
In the infield opening night should be KJ Zelenika at third base, Justin
Jenks at shortstop and Olson at second base. All return to the same position
they held down at the end of 2010. With Peterson getting the starting nod on
the mound, Zach Hise should start at first base. Austin Cooley will get the
start behind the plate.
In the outfield, the Trojans will wait on the return of left fielder Nate
Majcher who missed the preseason with a back injury, but will see the return
of Scott Homner in center field. Right field is still up in the air with
Ryan Tarnowski and Zack Rochowiak both making a push with solid offensive
“Last year was last year,” Campbell said. “We’re going to see everybody’s
best pitcher the first week and I really believe that winning will take care
of itself. You can win and play awful and get a false sense of how good you
are. You can also play well and not win and get the feeling that’ll it all
come together at some point.”
Offensively, the Trojans will look to manufacture runs.
“Our running speed is probably average and we don’t have tremendous power,”
Campbell said. “Jordan can hit the long ball and so can Austin. We’ll try to
limit our strikeouts and put the ball in play. Put a little pressure on the
other team’s defense.”
The Trojans first week schedule continues on Wednesday at home against EC
Central and then a trip on Thursday to Bishop Noll. The week concludes with
three games at the Lafayette Jefferson Invitational.