Varsity Baseball | May 1, 2018

Lake Central roughs up Banic, sloppy LaPorte

LAPORTE — The last time Lake Central faced Chandler Banic, the LaPorte left-hander silenced the Indians on two hits.

“We talked a lot about how good he was,” L.C. coach Mike Swartzentruber said. “And he’s even better this year.”

The results were markedly different Tuesday at Schreiber Field, where the Times No. 3 Indians roughed up Banic for 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings and a shoddy Slicers defense undermined him in a 10-2 Lake Central victory.

“I just went straight to a two-strike approach, work opposite field,” said L.C.’s Conner Hoffman, who drove in five runs with a bases-loaded double and two sacrifice flies. “Line drives. That’s what we’re in it for. Hit it and make them make the plays.”

No. 7 LaPorte (12-6, 5-4) committed six errors, three of them in a four-run third, contributing to six unearned runs.

“It’s just embarrassing,” Slicers coach Scott Upp said as his team ran the bases after the game. “I wish I knew what to attribute it to. It looked like we never practice. It was really bad. I can’t remember the last time we had six errors in a ball game. It’s been a long time. I can’t explain it.”

Hoffman’s drive in the third broke the game open, making it 6-2 and the Indians (13-3, 7-2) posted pairs in the fifth and sixth with Ray Hilbrich (three hits) singling in runs.

“They booted a few, we got a little confidence, we got on a roll and it was hard to stop,” Swartezentruber said. “I always tell them, I wasn’t the greatest of players but two things I could were throw strikes and put the bat on the ball. It’s high school baseball. If you can do that, you have a chance.”

Zack Dobos flourished with all the run support, blanking the Slicers over the final five innings after they nicked him for single runs in the first and second.

“Just throw strikes, let them hit the ball and rely on my defense to do the work,” Dobos said. “It’s pretty big (winning) after he shut us out last year.”

Dobos allowed seven hits and struck out just two, but issued just one walk.

“He’s not going to overpower anyone,” Swartzentruber said. “He’s going to give up five, six hits. He just can’t walk three, four guys like he did against Valpo. Our defense is pretty good, so when he throws strikes, he’s going to be pretty good most nights. Obviously, having a lead made it a little easier. He didn’t have to be so perfect every pitch.”

Josh Trim had two hits for LaPorte.

“We made sure they know LaPorte’s going to come over (today) ready to play,” Swartzentreuber said. “We did the same thing against Valpo (last week) and they came over and beat us.”

No. 3 Lake Central 10, No. 7 LaPorte 2

The Indians’ Conner Hoffman drove in five runs.

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