That may well be
the most important phrase of the season as the Chesterton baseball team
opens the 2017 season tonight at Hammond Gavit.
“We’ve got high
expectations coming into the year and they should be,” Chesterton head coach
Jack Campbell said. “We’ve got two kids that have verbally committed to
Purdue as pitchers (Austin Peterson, Grant Brunt). It’s not just those two
though. We’ve got four or five guys that we feel can handle the ball on the
mound if they throw strikes.
“That’s the big
Peterson leads the
pitching staff after a 7-0 season last year in Duneland Athletic Conference
play and a pair of victories over Andrean.
“Pete had a great
year last year,” Campbell said. “He was really good at getting strike one
last year. Everything works off of that.”
Brunt spent most of
the season as the Trojans third or fourth starter, but caught fire at the
end of the season.
“Grant was just
coming on like crazy and then really got it going in the Sectional,”
Campbell sports a
nine-man pitching staff heading into the season with Chris Torres, Drew
Vesling, Steve Gilbertson, Brayden Cortwright, Logan Lawson, Owen Hallas and
“Brayden is a 6’7”
lefthander that’s really thrown well so far in the preseason and Torres is
6’3”,” Campbell said. “It’s like having a basketball team out there. We’ve
done a lot of live pitching this preseason, probably more than we’ve ever
question myself in putting any one of them out there in any situation.”
Trojans return the core of last year’s team that beat Valparaiso and Andrean
en route to a Sectional title.
“We feel really
good about our defense and the depth we have there too,” Campbell said.
“Ethan Conway is back at third and Chris Boren got some time last year at
shortstop. Tommy Benson moved in and he’s really good. At second, Logan
Lawson and Grant (Brunt) are there and Colin Buchan is a solid infielder.
“Anthony Kurek can
play first base when Austin (Peterson) pitches.”
Behind the plate,
junior Brett Roeske returns.
“Having Brett back
after getting time behind the plate as a sophomore last year is big,”
Campbell said. “Senior Jake Harmon is there for us too.”
In the outfield,
the Trojans return Vesling, Eric Ralph and Owen Hallas, while Kurek will
also see time out there.
“We’ve got four
guys back in Vesling, Ralph, Hallas and Kurek that played a lot for us last
year,” Campbell said. “Steve Gilbertsen and Patrick Sosby give us depth in
the outfield too.”
Peterson is the team’s top returning hitter with Kurek right there with him.
“We’ve got some
kids that can run,” Campbell said. “Pete was our leading hitter last year
and Kurek was second. We’ve got a lot of guys who can put the ball in play
with some power. Ethan Conway hit the ball well for us last year.”
The Trojans open
DAC play on Tuesday when they travel to Lake Central before hosting the
Indians on Wednesday.
beats good hitting and, in our conference, there are a lot of good
pitchers,” Campbell said. “I would think opening up with LC this early in
the year, it’s probably going to be a one run ball game. Both teams are
going to put really good pitchers out there. It’ll come down to the little