When Jack Campbell
slowly walked to the mound to get the baseball from Brandon Roeske in the
seventh inning Thursday against Portage, the Chesterton senior gave a last,
modest plea to try to finish the game.
The Trojans’ coach,
a pitcher himself back in his day, appreciated where his senior hurler was
coming from, but still said no.
“He was on the high
80s end (in pitches),” Campbell said. “I used to be there. You don’t want to
come out. If he hadn’t walked the second kid, I would’ve let him go longer.”
All’s well that
ends well, as Chesterton (7-8, 3-4) survived a shaky finish that saw the
Indians get the tying run to the on-deck circle to claim an 8-5 Duneland
Athletic Conference victory.
“I wanted to finish
it out, but I trust his decision,” Roeske said. “The four-run inning was a
long break to go back out there.”
four runs in the top half of the inning, stringing hits by Tyler Sufana,
Roeske, Cole Teal and Cameron O’Brien, extending the margin after Chris
Klenk’s home run ended Roeske’s shutout bid in the bottom of the sixth. In
the bottom half, a leadoff single, walk and a two-ball count on the next
hitter prompted Campbell to go to O’Brien, who endured three infield errors
behind him to escape the rain with the win.
sometimes,” Campbell said. “The conditions, a bunt, somebody throws the ball
away. We hit the ball well. We did a lot of good things.”
The Trojans banged
out 11 hits, with Sufana, O’Brien and Jeremy Jaeger all picking up a pair.
Sufana scored twice while O’Brien, and Jaeger (triple) each drove in two.
But the Chesterton
highlight, in addition to Corey Rusboldt’s return defensively at shortstop,
was the pitching of Roeske, who has been plagued by meltdowns that have
blown up otherwise good outings.
helps my confidence,” Roeske said. “I always knew I could do it. It was just
a matter of getting it done for once. I worked hard after I broke my foot to
get back in shape. I feel like I’m in good condition. Physically, I’m fine.
It’s more mental now. I’d see one hit, not make a good pitch, and I go down
the drain. I just kept trying to throw strikes. I kept the hitters
off-balance, changing speeds. My defense was there to help me out a lot.”
Roeske got a lift
in the third inning when Portage put a runner on third with none out but
stranded him via back-to-back called-third strikes and a fly out to left
field. He also caught a line drive back at him to start a double play in the
“We talked about
splitting (the game) but he was pitching so well,” Campbell said. “He had
real good command all day. It was just extending it, staying sharper a
longer period of time. He was changing speeds, working his slider and curve
in with his fastball.”
committed four errors in a game that was played in a steady light rain. With
each school holding prom this weekend, the game couldn’t be made up Friday
and would’ve been bumped back to Tuesday, creating a four-game DAC schedule
“It’s a frustrating
loss all-around,” Indians coach Tim Pirowski said. “It’s a lack of
consistency, a lack of focus. We either absolutely beat the heck out of
teams or we get our doors blown off. I don’t know how many unearned runs
they had. I lost track. Give credit to (Roeske). He did a good job keeping
us off balance. We just did poorly making adjustments on him.”
Roeske held Portage
to a scratch infield hit through four innings and allowed only four in all,
walking three and striking out three.