Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Portage strikes late to oust CHS from Sectional

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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.

"Honestly, I thought he caught it," Simmons said.

He wasn't the only one.

"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 contact."

Chesterton (15-12) 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."

Hunter Thorn's two-out flare just beyond the infield in right broke the 1-1 tie in the fifth.

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.

ÊIHSAA Sectional

Portage 7, Chesterton 2

AT CHESTERTON

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.

 

Posted 5/29/2014