GARY | Griffith baseball coach Brian Jennings said there's a reason the mound on the field is elevated.
"It's the most important part of the field, that's why it's the highest," Jennings said. "When an Olympian wins a gold medal, where do they put him? On the highest point, it's the same thing on a baseball field. Pitching is the most important thing."
Against the Panthers on Saturday, Chesterton's Mitch Kobitz showed why.
Kobitz allowed three hits and struck out five in six innings, pitching the Trojans to a 7-1 win at U.S. Steel Yard.
"Once pitchers get warmed up (in the cold), it's not as bad. They get the blood flowing," Chesterton coach Jack Campbell said. "Mitch was warmed up. He's a control pitcher who has pitched well for us all year."
On the other side, the Panthers used three pitchers and gave Chesterton all of its runs in the first three innings.
Josh Terzarial started, but lasted four batters, unable to find his rhythm as he walked the first two and the third hit a two-run double. Three of the four scored. Brett Tauber threw four innings, allowing four runs while striking out two.
"We gave them too many freebies," Jennings said. "Once Tauber settled down and then Alex Diaz, we pitched pretty well. But, you can't let them put the ball in play. This is a perfect day because the wind is blowing in, so it's not going to travel very far. Throw a fast ball, if they hit it 400 feet, more power to them."
Reliever Diaz was named Griffith's MVP after two scoreless innings, striking out one and allowing one hit.
Chesterton picked up two runs each from Jordan Morandini and Corey Rusboldt. Andrew Ralph was 2-for-3 with a run and Aery Pratt was 1-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and a run.
"I told them to score early and often," Campbell joked. He said his team had an 11-1 lead on LaPorte earlier in the week when the game was rained out and now has to be restarted from the beginning when it is made up. "We've got cabin fever. It's good to see them come out and score early."