It's called a game
of inches for a good reason.
With Chesterton and
Portage tied 2-2 in the seventh inning of Wednesday's Class 4A Chesterton
Sectional quarterfinal, the Indians' Cody Simmons connected on a
bases-loaded, two-out line drive to left-center field that barely eluded the
glove of a diving Andrew Ralph, scoring three runs.
thought he caught it," Simmons said.
He wasn't the only
"I thought he was
going to catch the ball," Chesterton coach Jack Campbell said. "Andrew's a
great outfielder. There's nobody else in the (Duneland) conference who
probably gets that close. That's how much I think of him."
Portage added two
more runs on wild pitches and Portage’s Kevin Jones finished off the bottom
of the seventh for a 7-2 Indians' victory.
"If he was on,
throwing strikes, he's good," Campbell said. "He throws hard. When you
strike out 11 times, there are only so many balls where you're making
took the first lead in the second when Cole Teal singled and came across on
a passed ball. The Trojans gave the run back when Brandon Roeske's pickoff
attempt at second base went into the outfield, letting Blake Logsdon race
around to score.
"That was a
killer," Campbell said. "He would've been out in a rundown."
two-out flare just beyond the infield in right broke the 1-1 tie in the
The Trojans pulled
even in their half in interesting fashion. Ralph walked with two outs and
went to third when Corey Rusboldt's grounder to first was booted by the
first baseman and second baseman. Tyler Sufana grounded to shortstop and the
throw to first was wide, or so it was initially ruled. Portage coach Tim
Pirowski came out to argue, at which point the first-base umpire signaled
and called out, prompting the easy-going Campbell to flip his lead. After
conferring with his partners, he ruled safe a second time.
"When all was said
and done, he said he gave the wrong sign," Campbell said. "Fortunately, it
didn't determine the outcome of the game."
Jones, making his
first in three weeks due to a sore arm, retired Brandon Roeske on a fly ball
to center to keep the score even. Chesterton put two on in the sixth but
Jones extricated himself again with a Michael Griffin ground out.
"In games like
this, you have to minimize mistakes, not let one, two runs turn into five,"
Pirowski said. "You've got to keep your composure. Jones calmed himself down
and got out of the inning."
Portage broke the
game open off Teal after Roeske worked the first five innings.
"He's thrown really
well the last three, four times," Campbell said of Roeske. "He's throwing
the breaking ball for strikes. That's the equalizer. They got a few dink
hits here and there but that's baseball."
Roeske and Teal are
among 10 seniors on the Chesterton roster, though neither played last year.
"They became an
integral part of the team," Campbell said. "Andrew's a great kid. All year,
he's led us. The first couple games, it was like a morgue in the dugout, but
it evolved into something really good. (Assistant coach) John (Thanos) was
instrumental in that. As the season went on, they took more ownership of the
team. It was a great group."
Crown Point, which
trounced Michigan City 20-0 in the first game, faces Portage on Friday.
SCORING BY INNINGS
Portage 000 110 5
-- 7 8 4
Chesterton 010 010
0 -- 2 4 3
2B -- Tyler Sufana
(C); Cody Simmons (P). Pitching summary -- Portage -- Kevin Jones (IP, H, R,
ER, BB, SO); Chesterton -- Brandon Roeske (5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5
SO), Cole Teal ( 1 2/3 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO), Matt Kubacki (1/3
IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO). WP -- Jones. LP -- Teal.