La PORTE — Coming off four straight losses, La Porte Post 83 Hamon Gray needed a stopper to step up.
Nathan Galinowski and Collin Howard filled that role perfectly Wednesday night.
The two La Porte pitchers combined to throw seven shutout innings, allowing only a pair of hits. La Porte also received some timely hitting, lifting Post 83 to a 5-0 victory over visiting Chesterton Post 170 in an American Legion Junior Division baseball game at Ron Reed Field.
“Our pitching was phenomenal tonight,” La Porte coach Kevin McGuire said. “I was very pleased. They’re a couple pitchers who haven’t had a lot of innings yet and they came out and they pitched really well.”
Galinowski started and tossed five scoreless innings for the win for La Porte Post 83 (3-4), scattering two hits, both coming in the opening inning. The La Porte High School sophomore worked out of a second-and-third base, two-out jam in that frame against Chesterton Post 170 (0-2).
From there, he rolled, not surrendering a hit and allowing a mere one runner to reach second.
Howard, a La Porte High School junior, pitched the last two innings, giving up no runs and no hits and finishing the shutout.
“They stayed on top, trying to get out in front,” McGuire said. “‘G’, Nathan Galinowski, only got behind in the count on a couple hitters. He was out in front. I know he started the game off by allowing two quick hits, but then, he just settled in and shut them down.
“Nathan’s curveball wasn’t working as well as it has in the past, but he did throw it effectively, not so much for strikes. Because it throws the timing off on the hitters. He got stronger as the game went on.”
Galinowski racked up eight strikeouts, compared to no walks.
Howard, meanwhile, fanned four and walked one.
La Porte built a 1-0 cushion in the second, and made it 2-0 an inning later.
In the second, Dom Miller, a La Porte High School junior, ripped an RBI double to left field.
“I was just trying to get the run in, trying to get the ball in play and thinking not to strike out,” Miller said. “I was just trying to get a hit or go out swinging. I knew it was a hit as soon as I hit it. I started to put my head down, run, then turn left and head for two. It feels good because I’ve gone 0-for-4 and 1-for-3 the last games, so it was wonderful.”
La Porte pushed the margin to two runs on Alex Contreas’ RBI single to left in the third.
Contreas, a Michigan City High School sophomore, went 2-for-4 with an RBI on the night.
“He’s just a baller,” McGuire said. “He’s from Michigan City. He does whatever’s needed. He’s a good athlete.”
La Porte’s first two runs were each scored with two outs.
“It’s all about situational hitting,” McGuire said. “It certainly comes down to just putting the ball in play, just touching it when you’ve got runners on base. Making the most of the previous at-bats.”
Post 83’s Andrew Huizar, a South Central High School sophomore, had an RBI base hit to right in the fourth. Miller also scored on the play on the right fielder’s errant throw to third.
In the sixth, Howard added an RBI single to right in his first at-bat of the game.
On the night, Miller finished 2-of-3 with a double and an RBI, and Riley Attar, a La Porte High School sophomore, went 1-for-2 with a walk.
Starter Logan Rivera took the loss for Chesterton, surrendering four runs, three earned, on six hits. He struck out two and walked a pair in 4 2/3 innings.
On the other side, La Porte was happy to get back on the winning track after four straight losses in Kokomo at the Post 6 Summer’s First Pitch Tournament last weekend.
“Our team chemistry is very fun,” Miller said. “We all come from different schools and we’ve played with each other since we were little.”
This was scheduled to be two, seven-inning games, but the teams decided to play just one seven-inning contest.
La Porte Post #83 5, Chesterton Post #170 0
La Porte’s Nathan Galinowski and Collin Howard threw a shutout and struck out 12.