Chesterton Tribune



Austin Peterson fans 14; Trojans shut out Valparaiso 11-0

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VALPARAISO -- The way Austin Peterson pitched Tuesday, pretty much the only moving Chesterton's infield and outfield did was the shivering caused by the sub-40 degree temperatures.

"If you're moving around and playing, it's not as bad as a fan or a coach, freezing your butt off," Trojans coach Jack Campbell said.

Over the course of five innings, Peterson stayed toasty warm, striking out 14, not allowing a ball to be put in play in his middle three frames. While the Purdue recruit dominated on the mound, Chesterton hitters did the same at the plate, banging out 12 hits to dispatch Valparaiso 11-0 in six innings.

"It was nice to get a lead," Peterson said. "We've kind of been waiting for it. There have been times we've had runners on second and third and didn't get anything out of it. We did a lot better job executing. We put the ball in the outfield with runners on."

Peterson was one of five Trojans with two hits, but that took a backseat to his pitching, which stifled an experienced Valparaiso lineup on three hits. For good measure, Chad Dzierba spun a clean sixth with a pair of whiffs.

"Bottom to top, they hit the ball hard," Peterson said of Valpo. "It felt good to miss some bats. It was nice to be able to throw it where they think it's going to be, then it drops off. It felt good to have confidence in all my pitches. I was working the outside corner a lot. I got some and I didn't get some. It was kind of frustrating, running up my pitch count, but we got the win. That's all that matters."

An elevated pitch count was the only issue on the day for Peterson, who didn't allow a runner beyond second base, maintaining his usual quick pace in weather not suited for biding time.

"That's the idea," Campbell said. "Just watch a game on TV, it's three-and-a-half, four hours. They ought to take a lesson. He's a strikeout pitcher. He threw a lot more pitches than he normally throws. With the way he throws, generally, he throws more strikes. He had a lot of close pitches that weren't called strikes. He's a tremendous competitor, just a very talented kid."

The cold was never a factor for Peterson.

"You can't really make any excuse," he said. "It's Northwest Indiana. It's always cold until you get around Memorial Day, it seems like. I just had to get a good warmup in and go from there."

Through four innings, Peterson actually had 13 Ks, the result of a dropped third strike call in the third that ultimately ended with a four fan.

"Playing catch, my arm felt really good. I knew I was going to have my fastball," Peterson said. "I havenít really been feeling the velocity lately, but today I was feeling it. The slider's always there for me. Against good hitters, my changeup seems to work a little more. My brother (Jordan) actually made a game and he told me in this weather, make sure you keep your slider down, don't float it or it's going to be up there and they're going to be able to hit it."

Tommy Benson quickly put the Trojans (5-2, 3-1 DAC) in front with a home run to left field that cut through the northwest head wind. Logan Lawson singled in a run in the second and came home on the back end of a double steal to make it 4-0.

"We haven't scored early," Campbell said. "Four runs the first two innings, you feel pretty good about that with the big guy pitching."

The Trojans piled on with four runs in the fifth and three in the sixth to end the game early. Connor Krantz had two hits, as did Peterson, Grant Brunt, Brett Roeske and Lawson. Krantz was inserted into the lineup, batting leadoff, and Chris VanEekeren also started, notching a hit and two hard outs.

"That's good coaching," Campbell joked. "The last couple games, we had a lot of swings and misses. We put the ball in play. We made a couple lineup changes and they did well."

Valpo coach Todd Evans only hoped the Vikings (5-2, 3-2) took something away from the whitewash that they can apply if they get to face Peterson again in the postseason.

"Austin's not going to make a lot of mistakes," Evans said. "He's always around the plate. He got a few inches here and there, which makes a good pitcher even more difficult to defend against. Whether it's his fastball, curve ball or change-up -- he had all three -- you've got to pick a good one out and know how to attack him."

Chesterton 11, Valparaiso 0



Chesterton 220 043 -- 11 12 0

Valparaiso 000 000 -- 0 3 2

2B -- Grant Brunt (C). HR -- Tommy Benson (C). Pitching summary -- Austin Peterson (5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 14 SO), Chad Dzierba (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO); Valparaiso -- Noah Comstock (4 1/3 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO), Connor Brinson (1 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 0 SO), Alex Coil (2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO). WP -- Peterson. LP -- Comstock.


Posted 4/18/2018




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