Baseball: Portage, Valparaiso roll to sectional semifinals
By Mike Hutton 648-3139 or firstname.lastname@example.org May 27, 2011 11:38PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
MERRILLVILLE — Stress free. Those kinds of games are rare in tournament baseball.
Usually, there is a moment or two of tension for the winning team.
Not Friday in the opening round of the Merrillville Sectional for Portage.
The Indians had Cody Jackson in A-form. That was bad news for Merrillville in a 6-1 loss to the Indians.
Jackson pitched five innings and gave up just three hits and one run before Mike Brunner finished up the deal for the Indians.
Jackson was close to flawless with his location. The Pirates didn’t get a hit until Kenny Wright hit one softly off the end of the bat into right field.
Jackson’s command of his pitches made it easy for the Indians to slide into the semifinals today against Valparaiso. The Vikings beat Hobart 9-0 in a contest that took nearly two-and-a-half hours. Chesterton finished off Michigan City 9-2 from their rain suspended game on Wednesday. Crown Point plays Chesterton today at 10 a.m. in the semifinals.
Jackson, who is 7-2, had an inkling he was going to be sharp.
“I woke up today feeling like today was going to be a good day,” he said. “When I came out of the bull pen session, I felt like my speed and command were good.”
He also was pumped about the brisk weather.
“It was perfect,” he said. “Not too cold, not too hot.”
The Indians also knew it was going to be their day when they were able to get a quick run off Nick Feliciano, a tough left-hander who has a win against LaPorte under his belt.
They got one across in the first on a double by Nick Ramian, a hit-batsman and a single by Gabe Acevedo.
They were helped in the third by a couple of passed balls and a wild pitch. They finished with three runs and that was all they really needed.
Portage coach Tim Pirowski was happy to have a relatively easy one in the books. Pirowski pulled Jackson after five innings.
“It was nice to get a couple of runs across the plate against Feliciano early,” he said. “He’s a tough pitcher. If a good pitcher gets hot, he can beat anyone.”
For Valparaiso, it was an all pitching kind of victory as well.
Jerrick Suiter was just as effective as Jackson though he wasn’t nearly as sharp.
Suiter only gave up one hit in the Vikings shutout. That was a sixth-inning single to Tyrus Joseforsky. He also struck out 11 while walking seven and hitting two batters.
The Vikings got all the runs they needed in the fifth on three hits, a walk and an error that allowed them to score twice.
They almost ended the game early in the sixth when they scored seven times on four hits, three walks, an error and a wild pitch.
Suiter helped his own cause, finishing with three hits.