CHESTERTON | Five errors and 11 strikeouts aren't typically ingredients in formula for success, but Scott Upp isn't going to throw victories back like undersized fish.
"We're doing it ugly," the LaPorte coach said after an 8-5, nine-inning Duneland Athletic Conference win over Chesterton that was fueled by Trojans mistakes. "I don't know how we're winning games. We've been making three, four errors and and getting six hits. We haven't played well defensively all year. Now at least we're swinging the bats. We We're finding ways to win. We're not the prettiest 10-win team at all."
Times No. 7 LaPorte (10-3, 2-2) plated three runs in the ninth after Cole Teal retired the first two batters. Consecutive miscues by shortstop Travis Brooks, filling in for a sore-armed Corey Rusboldt, let in the go-ahead run and two more came around when center fielder Andrew Ralph misjudged Travis Upp's drive into a two-run double. The No. 6 Trojans (5-6, 1-3) hadn't made an error for 8 2/3 innings.
"The wheels fell off," Chesterton coach Jack Campbell said. "You can't point fingers. Everybody in the process of a game or season is going to screw up in some way. Physical mistakes are a part of the game. They made them, we made them. Ours were just more crucial, at a more critical time. That's baseball. It's a game of failure. It's all about how you deal with it."
Chesterton led 3-1 in the fifth before a two-out, three-run single by Matt Pritz on a full-count pitch. The hit ruined what had been a strong outing by Brandon Roeske, who fanned eight in five innings.
"It's been like that in a couple ball games for him," Campbell said. "One big hit and now you're behind."
Roeske got himself off the hook for the loss, forcing extra innings with an RBI double in the seventh.
"We've been pretty good with coming back in games," Campbell said.
Nick Willoughby worked the eighth and ninth in relief of Jake Teets to claim the win for LaPorte.
"I'd have to say it's our best team win," Upp said. "I thought Jake competed very well. A lot of players had key roles. We were down and came back. The bottom line is, put the ball in the play. Make good, solid contact. You can only control what you can."
Rusboldt had three hits and three runs scored for Chesterton.