Sandburg Baseball Stays Unbeaten in Conference During 3-1 Weekend Homestand

  Aaron Frey
  Monday, April 10, 2017 11:40 AM

Galesburg, IL

The Carl Sandburg College baseball team went 3-1 during a weekend homestand that saw the Chargers remain unbeaten in Arrowhead Conference action.

Sandburg swept a conference doubleheader with Highland on Saturday, winning 12-1 in five innings and 10-3, before splitting a doubleheader Sunday against Madison (Wis.). The Chargers won the opening game 10-9 before falling 8-2 in the nightcap.

Mitchell Ellison (East Moline, Ill./United Township), Levi Brening (Coon Rapids, Minn./DuQuoin) and Shane Coleman (Abingdon, Ill./Abingdon-Avon) — the 3-4-5 hitters in the Chargers’ lineup — each had two hits and two RBIs in Game 1 against Highland.

Ellison drilled a two-run homer to open the scoring in an eight-run third inning that gave Sandburg (16-10, 4-0) a 10-1 lead.

That was more than enough cushion for sophomore right-hander Matt Trouten (Moline, Ill./Moline), who won his third in a row while tossing his third straight complete game. Trouten allowed just one run on six hits and a walk while striking out four.

The Cougars had early leads of 2-0 and 3-2 in Game 2, but a three-run third gave Sandburg the lead for good at 5-3. The Chargers blew the game open with a four-run fourth. Coleman went 3 for 3 with three RBIs for Sandburg. Brening and sophomore catcher Marty Mennenga (Rantoul, Ill./Paxton-Buckley-Loda) each drove in two, with Mennenga’s coming on a first-inning homer.

Brening was a force on the mound as well, fanning a season-best 13 while issuing just one walk and allowing four hits. He improved his record to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in conference games.

Sandburg held on to take Sunday’s opener against Madison after grabbing a 10-4 lead in the fourth. Ellison, Coleman and Jordan Chandler (Erie, Ill./Erie) each homered for the Chargers, with Coleman, Ellison and Payton Hartbank (Mattoon, Ill./Mattoon) each picking up two hits and two RBIs.

Starter Alec Drake (Macomb, Ill./Macomb) picked up the win for Sandburg after fanning seven batters in four innings. The Wolfpack pushed the tying run to third with two outs in the seventh before Austin Fancher (Moline, Ill./Moline) closed it out.

Madison scored eight unanswered in Game 2 after the Chargers took a first-inning lead on Mennenga’s two-run homer. Mennenga finished the game with two hits, while Coleman singled twice and drew a walk.

The Chargers will put their unbeaten conference mark on the line Monday and Tuesday with doubleheaders at Kishwaukee and Highland.

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Aaron Frey