Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Chesterton baseball team opens today at home

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By TR HARLAN

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 conferences.

“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 the mound.

“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 two.”

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 campaigns.

“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.

 

Posted 4/4/2011

 

 

 

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