Chesterton Tribune



Kubacki, Trojans dominate LaPorte 5-0 for Sectional Baseball title

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Sectional Champions: The Chesterton baseball team won its first Sectional title since 2004 with a 5-0 victory over LaPorte at Crown Point High School on Monday night. Pictured kneeling are (l to r) James Burger, Nathan Tilden, Isaac Shook, Patrick Arndt, Ben Thornton, Owen Hallas and Anthony Kurek. Back row standing (l to r) are Assistant Coach Jordan Peterson, Hector Gonzalez Jack Mullen, Head Coach Jack Campbell, Travis Brooks, Logan Hofferth, Garrett Swanson, Michael Mallon, Zachary Burris, Blake Soffa, Matt Kubacki, Michael Jacobucci, Cameron O'Brien, Max Benoit, Pat Tilden, Assistant Coach Patrick Antone and Assistant Coach John Thanos. (Story on Sports Pages.) (Tribune photo by TR Harlan)



For the first time since 2004, the Chesterton baseball team raised the IHSAA Sectional Championship trophy.

And it was never in doubt.

The Trojans (15-15) rode a fast start and the right arm of Matt Kubacki to a 5-0 victory over LaPorte (25-7) at Crown Point High School on Monday night.

“I thought our kids came out with a lot of confidence,” Assistant coach John Thanos said. “We’ve been a team playing with a chip on our shoulder. We wanted people to notice us and we’ve carried that over to the way we do everything. It started in practice and has carried over to game day.”

Kubacki set the tone in the top of the first with a pair of strikeouts and then turned things over to the offense.

“After I got the two strikeouts in the first inning, I knew I was on,” Kubacki said. “I’m not usually a strikeout pitcher, but once I got it going, I felt like I controlled the game.”

Owen Hallas got things going in the bottom of the first with a leadoff single and Travis Brooks followed with a flare to left field to put runners on first and second.

Kubacki’s slow grounder to third was thrown past the first baseman allowing Hallas to score for a 1-0 lead. Anthony Kurek’s double to center scored Brooks and courtesy runner Isaac Shook.

Kurek would score on a wild pitch for a 4-0 lead.

“We went up swinging aggressively in the first inning,” Thanos said. “We knew how good (LaPorte pitcher Jacob Teets) is and we did the same things we did right the entire tournament. We were selective at the plate and took advantage of our opportunities when we had them.”

A 1-2-3 inning and another strikeout by Kubacki sent the Trojans back to the plate.

“Matt Kubacki has all kinds of command right now,” Thanos said. “He can throw whatever pitch he wants, wherever he wants. Most importantly, our entire team has confidence in him and you see our entire level raise when he’s on the mound.”

A one-out single by Hallas was followed by another single from Brooks and a walk to Kubacki to load the bases. Kurek’s sacrifice fly scored Hallas and was the game’s final tally.

“I’m a bystander like everybody else right now,” Chesterton head coach Jack Campbell said. “What a great baseball game. We pitched well, got clutch hitting and defended well. I can’t say enough about John (Thanos), Pat (Antone) and Jordan (Peterson). They’ve done such a great job.”

Thanos, who has been acting head coach since Campbell had replacement hip surgery on May 6, ended his own streak.

“I was 0-18 in Sectionals playing and coaching and 0-9 in championship games,” Thanos laughed. “I’m really happy for this group of guys. They may not have the most talent, but they are a great group of guys that want to be the best. I’m really proud of them.”

LaPorte mustered just five hits and didn’t get a runner to second base against Kubacki, who finished with eight strikeouts.

““It was the fastball,” Kubacki said. “I think I threw seven or eight off-speed pitches. Everything else was a fastball and I felt like I could locate it where I wanted it.”

“You always have a chance when your ace is on the mound,” Campbell said. “He threw strike one and that was so critical.”

Offensively, Hallas, Brooks, Kurek and Jack Mullen all had two hits each. Kurek also had three RBI’s on the victory.

“We had so many close games early in the year and we hung in there and kept believing in ourselves,” Campbell said. “We all said that we were right there. You have to believe it.”

For the Trojans it was the 17th Sectional title in school history and the first since 2004. Chesterton will face Northridge at 12 p.m. on Saturday in the semifinals of the IHSAA Regional at LaPorte.

IHSAA Class 4A Sectional

Chesterton 5, LaPorte 0



LaPorte 000 000 0 -- 0 5 1

Chesterton 410 000 x -- 5 9 0

2B -- Anthony Kurek ©. Pitching summary -- LaPorte -- Jacob Teets (6 IP, 9 H, 2 K, 3 BB); Chesterton -- Matt Kubacki (7 IP, 5 H, 8 K, 1 BB). WP -- Matt Kubacki. LP -- Jacob Teets.



Posted 6/2/2015




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