Old Glory was
starched on the flag pole in center field, extended by gusty south winds
that made it a hitter's day for Wednesday's Duneland Athletic Conference
Well, at least
that's how it worked for Chesterton anyway.
The Trojans pounded
out 14 hits, including six doubles, while LaPorte managed just four knocks
in a 16-1 five-inning beatdown that earned the hosts a share of the Duneland
Athletic Conference title.
"It was one of
those things where we hit the ball hard, between people, they had some tough
hops on the infield," Chesterton coach Jack Campbell said. "It was one of
those games that was nice to have at this point. We had a couple pop flies
that became doubles. We've had games where we've hit shots and it was out,
11-3) hung eights on the Slicers (19-8, 9-5) in the second and third
innings, when they racked up all of their hits.
"It was a great day
to hit, especially when you have people on base and have a chance at RBIs,"
Ethan Conway said. "You can break down the pitcher. He's working out of the
stretch so he's not throwing as hard. You're getting more fastballs."
Conway was among
several hitting stars for the Trojans, as the numbers would suggest. He had
three hits, including a bunt single in the second when Chesterton got the
offense rolling with a walk and two bunts. Erik Ralph's two-run single
touched off the scoring. Drew Vesling chased home two more with Chris Boren
doubling in a run, Anthony Kurek singling in another and Austin Peterson
delivering two more with a base hit to make it 8-1.
thinking line drive, no matter what," Boren said. "It's always the same. It
Boren doubled in a
pair in the third, when Chesterton laced five two-baggers. Conway had two
hits in the inning.
"At the beginning
of the year, I was struggling, but coach Campbell helped me with my form,"
Conway said. "It really helped moving to the bottom of the order. The guys
at the top give me opportunities to produce."
Chris Torres gave
up a run in the first, then blanked LaPorte over the next three innings,
striking out seven before Owen Hallas finished up with a clean fifth.
"Chris throws a lot
of strikes and usually stays down with the ball, which was a key," Campbell
said. "If you hang it up, it's going to hang up in the wind."
Boren, Peterson and
Vesling all had two hits and three RBIs. Ralph also plated three and Tommy
Benson was 2-for-3.
them," LaPorte coach Scott Upp said. "They swung the bats. We just got beat.
They played two ball games with a lot of grit and we did not. We had an
opportunity (Tuesday) to be a part of the conference (race). (Wednesday,) it
was, let's play spoiler now, which sometimes gets them going, but we
obviously didn't spoil much. I was disappointed with our approach. We've got
to get that figured out in a hurry."
The win tied
Chesterton with Crown Point for the top spot in the DAC.
"I never said
anything about it," Campbell said. "It was on their mind. If I had to give
them a pep talk, it wouldn't mean anything. It doesn't mean anything come
tournament time, but you'd rather go in like this than the other way."
The Trojans last
captured the Duneland title in 2013.
Conway said. "We didnít start out the hottest (2-2), but we fought back and
only had one loss the rest of the way. We're getting hot at the right time,
leading into sectionals, like we did last year."
finish the regular season with three games at the Carmel Classic Friday and
Saturday. It hosts the sectional beginning Wednesday, when it opens the
tournament against Merrillville. Valparaiso plays Hobart and Andrean meets
Portage in Thursday's quarterfinals. Crown Point awaits Wednesday's winner
in the semifinals on Friday with the final scheduled for Memorial Day.
definitely a goal, but it's a new season once the post-season starts," Boren
SCORING BY INNINGS
LaPorte 100 00 -- 1
Chesterton 088 0x
-- 16 14 0
2B -- Andy
Samuelson (L); Chris Boren 2, Austin Peterson, Tommy Benson, Erik Ralph,
Drew Vesling, Ethan Conway (C). Pitching summary -- LaPorte -- Chandler
Banic (2 1/3 IP, 9 H, 12 R, 10 ER, 1 BB,2 SO), Timmons (2/3 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2
ER, 0 BB, 1 SO), Peyton Riehle (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO); Chesterton --
Chris Torres (4 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO), Owen Hallas (1 IP, 0 H, 0
R, 1 BB, 0 SO). WP -- Chris Torres. LP -- Chandler Banic.