Chesterton Tribune



Trojans rally late to win Regional Baseball Championship

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Baseball is a karma game, sometimes beautiful, sometimes cruel.

Chris Torres experienced the cruel side last year, when he gave up the winning hit to Andrean in the sectional championship.

It appeared the Chesterton senior was destined to deal with more disappointment in Saturday's Class 4A LaPorte Regional championship, where he pitched brilliantly for six innings, only to be on the short end of a 1-0 score.

That's when the baseball gods chose to intervene, a few fortuitous turns of events going the Trojans way in a four-run uprising that carried them to an improbable 4-1 victory over Mishawaka.

"That was definitely the lowest point of my baseball career," Torres said. "I've never forgotten that day. I've worked ever since to get better to make sure I don't feel it again. To do this now, it's amazing. I'm shaking still."

Chesterton (20-8) was down to its last two outs against Grant Jablonski, who had blanked the Trojans on two hits, both Connor Krantz bunts, through six innings.

"He was awesome," Chesterton coach Jack Campbell said. "We were basically helpless at the plate. (Jablonski) certainly didn't deserve (to lose). Sometimes, it only takes one swing of the bat."

That one pivotal swing came after Brett Roeske managed a one-out walk, getting ball four after a couple close pitches went his way.

"We were there last year," Campbell said, referring to some ball calls late in the Andrean game.

Logan Lawson lined a pitch to center field and the whole trajectory of the game changed as Donovan Snyder slipped and fell, the ball sailing over his head for a tying triple.

"It was looking rough," Lawson said. "I made good contact, but I thought he was going to catch it. I saw it fall and I just thought I've got to see how far I can get. It's just like the Lake Central game. We were down the whole game and came back. Everything came together the last inning."

With Lawson at third, Torres dropped down a perfect suicide squeeze bunt to give the Trojans their first lead.

"Coach Campbell told me we'll give you one swing and we'll probably call it," Torres said. "The coaches wanted to do it. It was a really good move. We took some chances and it worked out on our part."

"I trusted Chris to get it down," Lawson said.

Tommy Benson followed the exclamation, providing the cushion with a home run to left field. Benson knew it when he hit it, raising an index finger in celebration as he dropped the bat.

Torres did the rest, finishing off his two-hit, 11-strikeout gem for his second pitching win of the day.

"It was definitely a grind," he said. "I was working (my curve ball) early, building off it, and coming back with the fastball."

Mishawaka (17-11) plated its only run in the fourth with a dropped third strike, throwing error, single and ground out.

"He was awesome," Campbell said. "He threw strikes, threw his curve for strikes."

While he was the biggest hero, Torres wasn't taking all the credit by any means.

"All my teammates were behind me," he said. "I couldn't have done it without these guys. We have three leaders but I feel we're all leaders. We were talking on the side. Everybody was staying up. We keep each other up, no matter what happens."

Chesterton's regional title is its first since 1994.

"It's one of things where this is a tough regional," Campbell said. "When (Ken Schreiber) was (at LaPorte), he was about the only one who was winning. To do something like this, it takes a special group, not just nine, 10 guys, but everybody."

The Trojans will play Fishers in the second game of the Plymouth Semistate on Saturday at approximately 2:30, but not before a little hair styling for Campbell, who promised to have his hair dyed maroon and gold if the Trojans won.

"It's exciting to have this team go," Lawson said. "We've all been playing together since were like 12. There were times for a couple days when I was waking up. I couldn't sleep because I was excited. A couple of us were talking about not being done with the season. There's nothing, no words that can explain it at this moment."

IHSAA Class 4A Regional Final


Chesterton 4, Mishawaka 1


Chesterton 000 000 4 -- 4 5 1

Mishawaka 000 100 0 -- 1 2 0

3B -- Logan Lawson (C). HR -- Tommy Benson (C). Pitching Summary -- Chesterton -- Chris Torres (7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 SO); Mishawaka -- Grant Jablonski (6 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 6 SO), Ryan Watt (2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 SO). WP -- Chris Torres. LP -- Grant Jablonski. Records: Chesterton 20-8; Mishawaka 17-11.


Posted 6/4/2018




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