HAMMOND | In a classic pitcher's duel Tuesday between Times No. 3 Crown Point and No. 5 Bishop Noll, something eventually had to give.
Crown Point's Ronnie Plesac and Noll's Danny Pobereyko were hitting their spots and throwing excellent stuff despite the temperature being in the high 30's.
Crown Point's Jake Jatis took advantage of one of Pobereyko's only mistakes in the top of the fourth inning, clobbering a two-run home run to right field to help give the Bulldogs a 3-0 win over the Warriors.
"I was just trying to get it over to right field to get a sacrifice and move Zach (Plesac) over to third," Jatis said. "I did not think it was going to get out, but it just got out and carried."
Crown Point (2-0) coach Steve Strayer was relieved after Jatis' blast, as it served as the first hit of the game for either team and got the Bulldogs on the board.
"I was anxious to see how we'd respond," Strayer said. "We know the top of our lineup, we've got some pretty good bats. I thought we struggled making some adjustments, but part of that had to do with (Pobereyko), he was pretty good."
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the game was Ronnie Plesac, who had Tommy John surgery on Nov. 2, 2011, and didn't pitch at all last season as a junior.
He pitched one inning Saturday in a 10-2 win over Elkhart Memorial, but got his first start against Noll (1-1) and struck out 10 batters in five innings.
"My arm felt fine," he said. "I stayed warm. I tried hitting an outside corner. I knew they weren't going to try to hit that. If they got a hold of it, I was going to let them get a hold of it. I was pretty loose, that definitely helped."
Noll's Angel Figueroa recorded his team's only hit, a single in the sixth inning.
Warriors coach Paul Wirtz was disappointed with the mistakes from his team, including a leadoff walk before Jatis' blast and an RBI groundout in the sixth in which the Warriors had a chance to get Alex Nickla out at home.
"I liked what our pitchers did today, but we just made enough mistakes to lose," Wirtz said.
With a schedule against tough teams like Crown Point and Chesterton, Wirtz is able to gauge his team's abilities against top competition early in the season.
"We play a lot of Duneland schools early to see where we're at," he said. "There's some things I like, but there's some things we've got to improve on quick. I'm definitely not happy with where we're at, especially offensively."