Chesterton Tribune



Roeske and Chesterton Baseball tops Portage

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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.”

Chesterton scored 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.

“It happens 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.

“It definitely 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 first.

“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.”

Both teams 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 next week.

“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.

Chesterton 8, Portage 5



Chesterton 111 100 4 -- 8 11 4

Portage 000 001 4 -- 5 5 4

2B -- Tyler Sufana (C). 3B -- Jeremy Jaeger (C). HR -- Chris Klenk (P). Pitching summary -- Chesterton -- Brandon Roeske (6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO), Cameron O’Brien (1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 ER, BB, SO). Portage -- Jared Ford (4 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO), Hunter Kraynak (3 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO). WP -- Roeske. LP -- Ford.



Posted 5/2/2014