Chesterton Tribune



Chesterton Baseball blows away LaPorte to claim share of DAC title

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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 finale.

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, out, out."

Chesterton (16-6, 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.

"I'm always thinking line drive, no matter what," Boren said. "It's always the same. It doesn't change."

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.

"Congratulations to 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.

"It's great," 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."

Chesterton will 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.

"(Conference) was definitely a goal, but it's a new season once the post-season starts," Boren said.

Chesteton 16, LaPorte 1



LaPorte 100 00 -- 1 4 3

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.



Posted 5/18/2017




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