CROWN POINT | The only thing that could top Zach Plesac's pitching Tuesday was Zach Plesac's hitting.
The Crown Point junior threw a no-hitter and followed it with a two-out two-on homer over the right-field fence in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Bulldogs a 4-2 win against Chesterton to open the Duneland Athletic Conference baseball season.
As Plesac rounded the bases, having hit his opposite-field bomb, he realized what he'd done and the emotion overcame him, he said. The no-hitter was his first since Little League.
"I cried, I broke down, after I realized what actually just happened, oh, man, that was awesome," Plesac said. "I was just trying to hit the ball hard to the right side and score those two runs to get the hit."
On the mound, he tossed a complete-game eight-strikeout performance, with both of Chesterton's runs coming courtesy of two Crown Point errors. He walked four, including both Aery Pratt and Andrew Ralph, leadoff walks who later represented scores for the Trojans (4-3, 0-1).
"He did a really nice job," Crown Point coach Steve Strayer said. "You take away a couple of those walks, he pitched a really nice game and kept us in it to get the win. He came up with such a huge hit there at the end."
Chesterton scored both runs on sacrifice flies, leaving the strategy to the base running. Trojans pitcher Jake Post took the loss, though he walked one and struck out six in his 6 2/3 innings.
"Our pitching's been really incredible all year, but when you can only score one or two runs, you're going to come up short," Chesterton coach Jack Campbell said. "I'm not taking anything away from Plesac, he pitched a heck of a game, but we're letting too many fastballs go by."
The Bulldogs were facing a 2-1 deficit when Alex Nickla singled with one out in the seventh and Johnny Lynk, who came in as a defensive replacement an inning earlier, followed that with a single. Plesac's homer on a 2-1 pitch came as a relief from his recent struggles at the plate, he said.
"I've been hitting the ball and swinging the bat good, it's just everyone gets into a slump, that was mine," said Plesac after a double, the home run and four RBIs. "I felt like everything was definitely playing out. I knew somehow it was all going to play out and we'd get the win, and we did."