Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Crown Point nips Chesterton Baseball 8-7

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A few things rile up Chesterton baseball coach Jack Campbell about high school sports.

In girls basketball, it's the third official. In baseball, it's the pitch count rule and the Duneland Athletic Conference scheduling format.

Don't like it, don't want it.

"Everybody wanted to play Tuesday-Wednesday," Campbell said. "Now we're playing (conference games) four days in a row. You have to think about (the next day)."

Last week's postponements of the Trojans series with Crown Point pushed the games to Thursday and today on the heels of their back-to-back with Portage, seemingly an advantage for a team with a deep pitching staff.

"They just keep throwing guys out there," said C.P. coach Steve Strayer, whose club was in a tougher spot, coming off two losses to Lake Central.

The would-be upper hand for Chesterton didn't pan out that way Thursday as the Bulldogs scored three runs in the seventh inning and survived a two-out rally in the bottom half to prevail 8-7.

"If that's their No. 3, 4, they're going to be pretty good," Campbell said of Crown Point starter Ryan Bolda, who fanned 11 in 5 2/3 innings. "We had way too much swing and miss. We're struggling a little bit defensively, making the routine plays. You get a lot of strikeouts, you don't have to handle as many plays."

After a pair of RBI singles, Crown Point went up 8-5 in the seventh when an ill-advised throw to first after a force play got away.

"It's a learning process," Campbell said. "We gave them a run, trying to turn a double play we didn't have a chance on. They get that run and it ends up 8-7."

The insurance run proved to be decisive when the Trojans made it interesting in their final at-bat. Tyler Nelson singled in a run with two outs to make it 8-6.

After Zach McKenna's single, the two pulled off a double steal to put Chesterton a hit away from a tie game. Nelson scored when Tommy Benson's grounder to third was bobbled, but McKenna got caught in no man's land and was tagged out in a rundown to end the game.

It was a finish that capped a frustrating day at the plate for the Trojans (4-2, 2-1), who had threats in nearly every inning, but couldn't put together a big inning.  An unearned run put Chesterton up in the first, but it was the only time the hosts led. Austin Peterson and Benson brought home single runs with scratch hits in the third and fourth to re-tie the game at 3, but Alex Rich's two-run single put C.P. (5-3, 1-2) back in front in the fifth and chased starter Chris Torres.

"He's only pitched a couple innings," Campbell said. "He got behind (hitters)."

Benson's infield single pulled the Trojans within a run in the sixth and Peterson tied it with a two-out flare to left. Even so, Chesterton ended up stranding nine runners.

"You put the ball in play, at least you have a chance," Campbell said. "We had people in scoring position. We get the bases loaded and we have back-to-back strikeouts. It's one of those situations where we'd try to create stuff and we couldn't execute. Strike one is the best pitch in baseball. He's trying to throw strikes, get ahead, so we need to be sitting on the first pitch. You've got to try to go with the pitch, go the other way."

Peterson had three hits and two RBIs, while Benson was 2-for-5 and Nelson scored three times.

"It's never going to be pretty against Chesterton's pitching," Strayer said. "We weren't going to go up there and stroke the ball all over the place. We got to two strikes, we had to battle and for the most part, we did. After the last two days, we needed a win."

The teams play again today at Crown Point in what has already become a jumbled conference race where no teams are undefeated in the second week.

"I knew it was a really big game -- every conference game is big -- and Chesterton's a really good team," Bolda said. "It was a big opportunity for me."

Crown Point 8, Chesterton 7

AT CHESTERTON

SCORING BY INNINGS

Crown Point 003 020 3 -- 8 8 2

Chesterton 011 102 2 -- 7 9 2

Pitching summary -- Crown Point -- Ryan Bolda (5 2/3 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 11 SO), Christian Mojica (1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO), Marek Bauner (1 /3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO); Chesterton -- Chris Torres (4 1/3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO), Chad Dzierba (2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO). WP -- Mojica. LP -- Dzierba. Save -- Bauner.

 

 

Posted 4/13/2018

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

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