PORTAGE | Chesterton pitcher Mitch Kobitz needed three hitters to settle into a groove against Portage on Monday.
Kobitz allowed a two-run home run to Eric Mesarch in the first inning and then held the Indians to four hits the rest of the way as the Times No. 9 Trojans earned a 4-2 Duneland Athletic Conference baseball win.
“I was just getting into a rhythm, getting a tempo and getting it going,” Kobitz said.
Kobitz threw 90 pitches in going the distance on the mound. He allowed five hits and one walk while striking out three. He retired 18 of the final 23 batters of the game.
Portage (10-7, 3-4 DAC), which had two runners thrown out on attempted stolen bases, did not put a runner past second over the final six innings.
“We did a nice job defensively behind (Kobitz), but he made big pitches that got guys out,” Chesterton coach Jack Campbell said.
Doubles from Aery Pratt and Mike Crowley in the sixth scored two runs and put the Trojans (10-4, 5-1) in front.
Pratt’s drive to the wall in center field scored Jordan Morandini from first, and after a groundout, Crowley’s double to left-center scored Pratt.
“Sometimes it takes the bats a little while to get going,” Campbell said. “I would rather have them at the end than at the beginning.”
Chesterton tied the game with two runs in the fourth. Morandini reached on a dropped third strike and Pratt followed with a single. After an out, Crowley doubled to score Morandini and Tyler Sufana added a run-scoring groundout.
Portage pitcher Kevin Jones, who was battling an illness, struck out eight in seven innings of work.
“He gutted one out,” Portage coach Tim Pirowski said. “He did a good job battling.”