Chesterton Tribune

CHS Baseball begins tonight at Hammond Gavit

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Good pitching beats good hitting.

Veteran Chesterton baseball coach Jack Campbell can only hope the old adage is true when the Trojans open the 2012 season today at Hammond Gavit.

“We had a really good scrimmage against Lowell pitching-wise,” Campbell said. “We threw a lot of strikes and got ahead of hitters. That was really encouraging.”

The Trojans have a formidable 1-2 punch on the mound in seniors Jake Post and Bobby Humphreys.

“We expect Jake and Bobby to have great years,” Campbell said. “With the changing of the bats, the bat doesn’t have as much exit speed now. There will be a lot more small ball and a lot fewer home runs. That makes pitching a premium and I think we have a lot of it.”

Post, an Ohio State signee, was 6-3 last year with a 3.41 ERA. He also struck out 84 batters in just 58 innings.

Humphreys, headed to St. Joseph’s College, was 4-2 last year with a 1.04 ERA

Chesterton will also see senior Mike Albano, junior Aery Pratt and sophomores Jeremy Jaeger and Kevin Jones see time on the hill.

“Pitching is usually ahead of the hitting early in the year,” Campbell said. “I guess we’ll find out with six games in the first week of the season.”

The Trojans have had the advantage of being outside through the pre-season, but so has everybody else.

“The only bad thing about the weather getting too good too soon is that you don’t spend as much time on the fundamental stuff as you do when you’re stuck inside,” Campbell said. “Hopefully that doesn’t catch up with you early in the year.”

Defensively, Campbell’s squad will feature seniors KJ Zelenika, Humphreys and Zach Jenks at third, shortstop and second base. At first base, Post, Brandon Jenks, Pratt and Max Kerr are battling.

“We have a myriad of first basemen,” Campbell said. “That’ll be determined by who’s swinging the hot bat.”

In the outfield, the Trojans will have sophomore Andrew Ralph in centerfield, but the rest of the spots are still open.

“In the outfield we’re a little thin in numbers,” Campbell said. “Andrew Ralph in the leadoff spot as a lefty is something we haven’t had in a while. He can go get it in center field and finds his way on base. Having been a varsity athlete in football will help him too.”

Filling out the roster are Jordan Morandini, Josh Jaeger, JR Frederick, Alex Rochowiak, Spencer Sutton, Austin VanderZanden, Mike Crowley, Mitch Kobitz and Nathan Crownover.

“We’ve always played a lot of kids the first couple of weeks because we play a lot of games,” Campbell said. “We’ve got six here the first week. We’ll get to see everyone and find out what they can do before we get into conference play.”

With 10 seniors on the roster, the Trojans do have some experience to rely on.

“Our attitude has really been great here in the pre-season,” Campbell said. “We’ve got three great captains in Post, Zelenika and Humphreys, but we also have other seniors and guys that have been around. They know what’s expected and how to do things. That’s a huge advantage for us.”



Posted 4/2/2012