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