Jack Campbell has been around a long time.
The Chesterton baseball coach had also waited a long time for Thursday night
as his Trojans won their first outright Duneland Athletic Conference title
since 1985 with a 5-3 victory over Lake Central.
"This is a really special group of kids," Campbell said. "A lot can be said
for team chemistry. We lost a lot of kids from last year with only a couple
kids back that started. Its been a special season."
Things didn't look great early as Lake Central touched up Chesterton starter
Mitch Kobitz for three runs on four hits in the top of the first.
"Mitch has pitched great for us all year and the first inning, he didn't
fool anybody," Campbell said. "We just hoped he could weather the storm and
get through it. After that first inning, he threw the ball great."
Kobitz allowed just two hits over the final six innings and struck out three
in garnering the victory.
Chesterton (18-4, 13-1) began the climb back into the game in the third as
Andrew Ralph singled to start the frame. A one-out single by Aery Pratt put
runners on the corners. Austin VanderZanden plated Ralph with an RBI ground
Mike Crowley's double to center field scored VanderZanden to cut the lead to
"Ralph got us a couple of hits and a big hit by Crowley were key early on to
get us back into the game," Campbell said.
The Trojans tied the game in the fourth when Corey Rusboldt and Mitch Kobitz
both reached on errors and Rusboldt eventually scored.
"We got a break with a couple of errors by Lake Central," Campbell said.
"We've found a way to win all year, especially these last 14 games. We've
been able to take advantage of mistakes."
In the bottom of the sixth, Michael Griffin singled with one out and Ralph
singled to left to put two aboard. After a fly out, Aery Pratt lined a
double to right field scoring Griffin and Ralph to set the final score.
"Aery gets the big hit in the sixth inning," Campbell said. "A left-handed
bat against a left-handed pitcher, that's a big-time at bat."
In the top of the seventh, Kobitz coaxed a ground ball and a pair of lazy
fly balls to Ralph in center field to set off the post-game celebration.
The Trojans travel to Carmel to take part in the Greyhound Classic with
games Friday night and Saturday.
002 102 x - 5 9 0
2B - Aery Pratt, Mike Crowley ©. Pitching Summary - Lake Central - Glatt (3
IP, 4 H, 1 K, 2 BB), Bosold (3 IP, 5 H, 0 K, 0 BB); Chesterton - Mitch
Kobitz (7 IP, 6 H, 3 K, 0 BB). WP - Mitch Kobitz. LP - Bosold.