CHESTERTON | If coach Dave Pishkur is to be believed, Saturday’s four-hit, no-run effort wasn’t even Jimmy Skiff’s best start of the year.
Skiff allowed two walks – a season-high – and hit a batter, but still tossed a complete game shutout, his first of the season, as Times No. 2 Andrean defeated No. 6 Chesterton 5-0.
“Jimmy’s very competitive on the mound,” Pishkur said. “He hits spots well; he doesn’t usually walk anybody. He’s been sharper. We played really good defense behind him. We just made all the plays, but it’s easier to play defense when the guy on the mound throws strikes all the time. He peppers the strike zone.”
The 59ers (7-0) played error-less defense behind Skiff and turned a pair of 6-4-3 double plays. The senior escaped his biggest jam in the fourth inning after a walk and single put two on with none out. Skiff got a popout, a comebacker and a lineout to end the inning.
Skiff faced pressure early as Chesterton allowed a first-inning run then shutout the 59ers in four straight innings. Andrean’s offense finally clicked in the sixth, when an RBI double by Kevin McCune, a sacrifice fly by Alex Vode and an RBI single by Parker Huttle provide enough insurance that Pishkur felt comfortable letting Skiff continue on the mound.
“The best thing we did was added on late in the game when it was 1-0. All the sudden we added on, and had a little bit more confidence.” Pishkur said. “This is the deepest he’s gone in a game, but he didn’t really throw that many pitches.”
Andrean took advantage of six stolen bases -- three by Donovan Chandler, who scored twice -- and three Trojans errors in the win.
“We’ve got some athletes on the team who can run the bases, it’s just a matter of getting them on sometimes,” Pishkur said. “We stole some bases, got some clutch hits; anytime you can beat Chesterton is a nice win.
“That’s baseball. We played Griffith the other day, beat them 12-1 at our place and then beat them 3-2, just hanging on, the next day at their place. We play (Chesterton) next Monday and it could be 5-0 the other way around. That’s just the way it is. Chesterton’s got a very good team; if you can hold them down to zero, you did something well.”