Pettit throws 9 K's in Bulldogs
A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith
|Shortstop Cal Curiel watches as CP pitcher Will Pettit fires away against Michigan City. The Bulldogs were 4-0 the week leading up to April 13. (All photos by Mark Smith)|
|CP catcher Clay Wignall caught seven shutout innings and cracked an RBI double against Michigan City.|
|MC first baseman Josh Floyd (21) gets ready to retire CP's Jayden Phillips (9) in Duneland Conference action April 13.|
|CP's Luke Buford gets ready against MC. Buford had two hits and three RBIs in Crown Point's two wins in Lafayette on April 9-10.|
|CP's Gabe Stout (26) mans third base against Michigan City. Stout was 3-for-6 against Penn with three RBIs.|
|CP's Jayden Phillips (9) leads off third base against Michigan City last week. After a 10-4 loss at Lake Central on April 7, the Bulldogs won their next six games.|
|Crown Point's Jayden Phillips (9) waits to bat against Michigan City. CP scored 25 runs in their first five games this season and then scored 52 in their next six games.|
|CP's Chris Bachman (8) takes one belt high against Michigan City. Bachman was 3-for-6 in the double-header win over Penn on April 17.|
|Coach Steve Strayer looks for more after CP takes the lead against Michigan City in the fourth inning on April 13.|
|CP second baseman Luke Buford throws out a Michigan City runner. After 11 starts, the Bulldogs (8-3) were 2-1 in one-run, extra inning games.|
|CP right-hander Will Pettit allowed a total of one earned run in his first three victories.|
CPs Cal Curiel (12) liked the way things were
going last week against Michigan City. The Bulldogs have run
into some weather postponements after an 8-3 start.
(All photos by Mark Smith)
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|Team (Record) / Inning||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|MICHIGAN CITY (1-1)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||3|
|CROWN POINT (5-3)||0||0||0||5||0||3||-||8||5||0|
April 13, 2021 - 50 degrees, sunny, 15-20 mph winds in CROWN POINT, IN
MICHIGAN CITY (1-1)
Lucas Swistek (LF) 0-for-3
Gavin Kaletha (SS) o-for-2, walk
Chris Gault (P) 0-for-2, walk
Nick Lemon (RF) 0-for-2, walk
Josh Floyd (1B) 1-for-3, single
Alex Contreras (C) 0-for-3
Ryan Cuma (CF) 0-for-2, walk
Bryan Drzwiecki (3B) 0-for-1, HBP
Nate Painter (3B) 0-for-2
CROWN POINT (5-3)
Luke Buford (2B) 0-for-4, run scored
Chris Bachman (1B) 1-for-3, 3 RBIs
Cal Curiel (SS) 1-for-2, 2 walks, RBI
Gabe Stout (3B) 0-for-4
Ryan Hannan (RF) 0-for-2, HBP
Blake Pysh (LF) 0-for-2, walk
Jayden Phillips (DH) 0-for-2, RBI, run scored, walk
Dom Sainato (CF) 2-for-3, 2 RBIs, 2 runs scored
Clay Wignall (C) 1-for-2, double, walk
Matt Corona (PR) 0-for-0, run scored
WP (starter) Will Pettit (3-0) 9 Ks, 4 walks, (6 innings)
LP (starter) Chris Gault (0-1) 1k, 6 walks
When I went up to Crown Point teenager Will Pettit after he’d pitched six
innings of an 8-0 shutout over Michigan City last week, I told him that I was
really glad to see him have some success.
I don’t know if I said ‘finally’. I hope I didn’t.
I’ve always rooted for Will probably for the same reason everybody at Crown Point probably did. Will is the son of former Crown Point football and baseball star, football coach and principal Chip Pettit.
His last name put him in a
spotlight and three years as the varsity football quarterback probably didn’t go
as well as he’d hoped. One sectional title. But a .500 record and two playoff
losses to arch-rival Merrillville. Not great.
But I have other reasons to root for him.
I don’t know Will at all, but his dad is, in a small part, the reason I’m here covering Crown Point sports into my old age. Chip was a three-sport star at Crown Point before my time and his father Jack Pettit still holds some school basketball records. But one of my first extended responsibilities was to cover the Crown Point Little League in 1995 when they won the state title under coaches Jack Pettit and Dave Hanaway. They repeatedly welcomed me when I hardly knew where I was.
Then from 2001 through 2011, Chip Pettit the coach of Crown Point football tolerated me and my questions endlessly.
Reporters need what I have come to call ’tolerance of ignorance’ from coaches and players. When reporters try to cover games they arrive comparatively ignorant. Meaning they are almost 100% ignorant of that team compared to all the players, coaches and even parents there. The reporter asks questions which may not be smart or relevant to the situation because they don’t know anything.
Will’s dad, Chip Pettit, always seemed to know that I didn’t know what I was talking about. He tolerated me. He made it easy for me. It's hard to be ignorant when you know you are. I am forever grateful, even 10 years later.
So when the Covid-19 last season eliminated his junior season, now-senior right-hander Will Pettit (3-0) shuts out Hanover Central 2-0 on March 30. When Will strikes out six in an 11-3 victory over arch rival Lake Central on April 6 and then six more shutout innings against Michigan City last week, I’m smiling underneath my face mask.
“I pitched on the JV as a sophomore when we had all those really good players,” Will said of his path to now.
“Then last year, we got cancelled. It was tough. We had a really good group last year (14 seniors) and they never got on the field. I feel so bad for those guys because we were going to make a run for it (the state finals) last year.
“Today, it took me a while to get settled in. I thought I was battling early. Didn’t throw as many strikes as I wanted to. But it got better as the game went on.”
“Will found his curveball and he threw some nice ones today,” said coach Steve Strayer. “If he can be just a little more consistent with his location, he’s going to be very good this year. He’s got to improve. It's early. But he’s 3-0 and he looks good.”
This game was scoreless going to the bottom of the fourth inning as Michigan City right-hander Chris Gault shut down the Bulldogs. But Gault walked five batters in the fourth as CP became more patient the second time through the batting order. Dom Sanato’s two-run single made it 3-0 and Chris Bachman’s two-run single completed a five-run inning.
Catcher Clay Wignall added an RBI double inside a three-run sixth inning.
Crown Point looks surprisingly good in the early going. The 5-4 loss to Highland was a game where CP led 4-0 after 6-1/2 innings. The other two losses are to Munster (6-2) and Lake Central (7-3).
CP hit the ball well in two weekend wins in Lafayette, but coach Steve Strayer wasn’t overjoyed at just five hits against MC.
“We didn’t hit well today,” he said. “But I thought we figured it out in the end. We were taking some long swings. We stayed shorter. More compact. We battled better. We were swinging out of the zone. That’s what they wanted us to do.”
“But we did a better job the last few innings. “Cal (Curiel) swung the bat well. Hit the ball hard. I thought he had a good day.”
CP topped Penn 10-0 and 3-2 last Saturday as junior Chris Bachman (2-1) pitched a five inning complete game. Gabe Stout struck out 16 in six innings of the 3-2 win at Michigan City on April 14. Sophomore Luke Buford drove in the go-ahead run. In the 11-0 win over Penn Saturday, Cal Curiel scored three times and Gabe Stout had two hits in the first game of a double-header.
In Game two, Zach Galocy pitched three shutout innings to get the win when Eric Santaguida and Carter Cleve scored on a Penn error in the sixth, overcoming a 2-1 Penn lead. Santaguida pitched the final inning to get the save.
DOG NOTES: There was no good way to ask coach Steve Strayer about the cancelled 2020 baseball season when CP would have had 14 returning seniors off a sectional championship (2019) team.
“It was really hard,” said Strayer of the cancelled season due to Covid-19. “It was really hard. We all talked and life is rough. You have to handle things in life. We all had to handle last year. A lot of other people are going through a lot worse things.”
Crown Point won two games in Lafayette beating Jefferson 12-9 and Harrison 15-4. Senior Gabe Stout was 4-for-8 in the two games with three doubles. The Bulldogs also got to see the newly renovated (rebuilit in 2020) Loeb Stadium, Lafayette’s tradition-rich minor league baseball park.
“It was really neat,” said Strayer. ”I really liked the stadium. We got to play Jeff. Kinda wanted to see McCutcheon but it was rained out. We see them at the end of the year anyway. We hit well down there.”
Will Pettit will go to DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana where he will vie for the starting quarterback position.
“I’m really excited about it,” he said.
USA-365.com Broadcast Note: Our Internet radio baseball and softball broadcast schedule for USA-365.com is currently in hiatus until further notice.
Sorry about that! (Blame COVID-19.)
We hope to provide some live coverage the final few weeks of the baseball and girls softball schedule and then as many IHSAA tournaments games for the Crown Point Lady Bulldogs softball and Bulldogs baseball team as we can work into the remainder of the season, as long as each team remains alive in the playoffs.
POINT Bulldogs (5-3)
2021 CROWN POINT (8-3, 3-1 DAC)
Coach Steve Strayer 28th year (622-230) (18th year at CP)
(28-5) in 2019, (21-8) in 2018, (19-9) in 2017, (19-9) in 2016, (25-6) in 2015
Duneland Athletic Conference games in CAPS
All games begin at 4:30 unless otherwise indicated
March 29 (L) 3-5 at Munster
March 30 (W) 2-0 at Hanover Central
April 3 (L) 4-5 at Highland (8 innings)
April 6 (W) 11-3 LAKE CENTRAL
April 7 (L) 4-10 at LAKE CENTRAL
Jefferson Invitational in Lafayette
April 10 (W) 12-9 Jefferson
April 11 (W) 15-4 Harrison
April 11 (rained out) McCutcheon
April 13 (W) 8-0 MICHIGAN CITY
April 14 (W) 3-2 at MICHGAN CITY (8 innings)
April 17 (W) 11-0 (5 innings) Penn
April 17 (W) 3-2 (8 innings) Penn
April 20 (Tues) at LaPORTE
April 21 (W) LaPORTE
April 27 (Tues) VALAPARAISO
April 28 (W) Valparaiso
(note: Valpo has no home field this season.)
April 30 (Fri) Lowell – 5:30 p.m.
May 4 (Tues) at MERRILLVILLE
May 5 (W) MERRILLVILLE
May 7 (Fri) Munster – 6 p.m.
May 8 (Sat) Andrean (2) 9 a.m.
May 11 (Tues) PORTAGE
May 12 (W) at PORTAGE
May 14 (Fri) at Hobart
May 18 (Tue) at CHESTERTON
May 19 (W) CHESTERTON
May 22 (Sat) Plymouth - 9 a.m.
May 22 (Sat) McCutcheon - 3 p.m.
May 24 (M) at (St. John) Illiana Christian