Chesterton Tribune



CHS Baseball drops a lucky 13 on Merrillville

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A 13-run first inning propelled Chesterton to a 17-0, five-inning whitewash of Merrillville in the opening game of the Chesterton Class 4A Sectional on Wednesday.

As far as big innings go, it wasn't even the most runs Brett Roeske had seen scored in one frame. Not even close.

"Our freshman year, we scored 23 in the first inning against the same guy," Roeske said.

Poor Israel Woods was victimized for nine this time, the Trojans chasing the Pirates senior 10 batters into the game. By the time Chesterton was a hitter away from batting around twice, it had plated 13 runs.

"Everyone was ready. We wanted to jump on them early, not wait until the last second, like we have lately," Chris VanEekeren said.

The first eight Trojans reached base via a walk, an error, two hit batters and four hits. VanEekeren and Roeske both knocked in a pair with a double and a triple.

"(Woods) threw against us in the regular season and wasn't too bad," Roeske said of a 7-3 game. "We were a little passive in counts (that game). We were aggressive at the plate, hitting first-pitch fastballs. We did a lot of practice waiting on the ball, staying back and trying to drive the ball instead of yanking everything down the line."

VanEekeren singled in another run and Roeske's hustle double gave him four RBIs for the inning.

"We hit the ball hard," coach Jack Campbell said. "We hit it where they weren't, between, over, in front. That's the way baseball is. We wanted to score right away and sometimes it snowballs. I've seen it the other way."

By that point, Campbell biggest concern was making sure he started substituing at the right time.

"No matter who you play, it's, well, what if the next 10 guys put it over the fence?" he said.

That was never an issue as Chris Torres and Grant Brunt combined on a shutout. Torres allowed three hits in three innings and Brunt a walk with three strikeouts in his two frames as the Chesterton outfield didn't record a single putout.

"Chris has thrown well and Grant has, too," Campbell said. "We talked to Grant and told him if we get the chance we're going to get you a couple innings. There weren't many decisions to be made."

Tommy Benson launched a three-run home run in the fourth and Chad Dzierba knocked in the final run in the fifth with his first hit of his varsity career. Campbell's only regret was the bunt David Mahaffey put down in the fourth with the 16-run margin.

"It was his idea," Campbell said. "I apologized. (Merrillville coach Paul Wirtz) understood. He's a kid who doesn't play a lot."

Connor Krantz, Patrick Sosby, Benson, VanEekeren, Brunt, Tyler Nelson and Roeske all had two hits with six Trojans scoring twice. Chesterton racked up four doubles, a triple and a home run among its 19 hits.

"It sure makes everything easier," Campbell said.

The Trojans face Hobart in Friday's semifinal. The Brickies edged Crown Point 1-0 in Wednesday's second game.

IHSAA Sectional


Chesterton 17, Merrillville 0


Chesterton (13)00 301 -- 17 19 0

Merrillville 000 00 -- 0 3 1

2B -- Connor Krantz, Austin Peterson, Brett Roeske (C). 3B -- Roeske (C). HR -- Tommy Benson (C). Pitching summary -- Chesterton -- Chris Torres (3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO), Grant Brunt (2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO); Merrillville -- Israel Woods (1/3 IP, 5 H, 9 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO), Jacob McDonald (3 2/3 IP, 11 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO), Armen Paloza (1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO). WP -- Torres. LP -- Woods.



Posted 5/24/2018




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