By TR HARLAN
For the first time
since 2004, the Chesterton baseball team raised the IHSAA Sectional
And it was never in
The Trojans (15-15)
rode a fast start and the right arm of Matt Kubacki to a 5-0 victory over
LaPorte (25-7) at Crown Point High School on Monday night.
“I thought our kids
came out with a lot of confidence,” Assistant coach John Thanos said. “We’ve
been a team playing with a chip on our shoulder. We wanted people to notice
us and we’ve carried that over to the way we do everything. It started in
practice and has carried over to game day.”
Kubacki set the
tone in the top of the first with a pair of strikeouts and then turned
things over to the offense.
“After I got the
two strikeouts in the first inning, I knew I was on,” Kubacki said. “I’m not
usually a strikeout pitcher, but once I got it going, I felt like I
controlled the game.”
Owen Hallas got
things going in the bottom of the first with a leadoff single and Travis
Brooks followed with a flare to left field to put runners on first and
grounder to third was thrown past the first baseman allowing Hallas to score
for a 1-0 lead. Anthony Kurek’s double to center scored Brooks and courtesy
runner Isaac Shook.
Kurek would score
on a wild pitch for a 4-0 lead.
“We went up
swinging aggressively in the first inning,” Thanos said. “We knew how good (LaPorte
pitcher Jacob Teets) is and we did the same things we did right the entire
tournament. We were selective at the plate and took advantage of our
opportunities when we had them.”
A 1-2-3 inning and
another strikeout by Kubacki sent the Trojans back to the plate.
“Matt Kubacki has
all kinds of command right now,” Thanos said. “He can throw whatever pitch
he wants, wherever he wants. Most importantly, our entire team has
confidence in him and you see our entire level raise when he’s on the
A one-out single by
Hallas was followed by another single from Brooks and a walk to Kubacki to
load the bases. Kurek’s sacrifice fly scored Hallas and was the game’s final
“I’m a bystander
like everybody else right now,” Chesterton head coach Jack Campbell said.
“What a great baseball game. We pitched well, got clutch hitting and
defended well. I can’t say enough about John (Thanos), Pat (Antone) and
Jordan (Peterson). They’ve done such a great job.”
Thanos, who has
been acting head coach since Campbell had replacement hip surgery on May 6,
ended his own streak.
“I was 0-18 in
Sectionals playing and coaching and 0-9 in championship games,” Thanos
laughed. “I’m really happy for this group of guys. They may not have the
most talent, but they are a great group of guys that want to be the best.
I’m really proud of them.”
just five hits and didn’t get a runner to second base against Kubacki, who
finished with eight strikeouts.
““It was the
fastball,” Kubacki said. “I think I threw seven or eight off-speed pitches.
Everything else was a fastball and I felt like I could locate it where I
“You always have a
chance when your ace is on the mound,” Campbell said. “He threw strike one
and that was so critical.”
Brooks, Kurek and Jack Mullen all had two hits each. Kurek also had three
RBI’s on the victory.
“We had so many
close games early in the year and we hung in there and kept believing in
ourselves,” Campbell said. “We all said that we were right there. You have
to believe it.”
For the Trojans it
was the 17th Sectional title in school history and the first since 2004.
Chesterton will face Northridge at 12 p.m. on Saturday in the semifinals of
the IHSAA Regional at LaPorte.