Chargers’ Split With BHC Sets Up Arrowhead Title Showdown

  Aaron Frey
  Tuesday, May 2, 2017 8:37 PM

Galesburg, IL

The Carl Sandburg College and Black Hawk baseball teams finished Tuesday where they started.

The Chargers and Braves split an Arrowhead Conference doubleheader at the William “Bill” Hungate Baseball/Softball Complex, leaving the league champion to be decided Wednesday in Moline as the teams finish off a four-game home-and-home series.

After Sandburg took Game 1 12-7 to pull into a tie atop the conference standings, the visiting Braves responded with an 11-6 victory in the nightcap to regain their one-game advantage. The Chargers (26-17, 12-4) must sweep the Braves (13-3 Arrowhead) to earn their sixth conference title and first since 2008. One BHC victory Wednesday gives the Braves the league crown.

A wild first inning in Game 1 saw the Chargers emerge with a 6-5 lead, and the teams were tied at 7 after the fourth. Sandburg then scored five unanswered runs, plating four in the fifth and another in the sixth.

Angel Figueroa’s (East Chicago, Ind./Bishop Noll) run-scoring single in the fifth proved to be the game-winner, and Marty Mennenga (Rantoul, Ill./Paxton-Buckley-Loda) highlighted the frame with a two-run triple to right.

Nolan Ard (Carthage, Ill./Illini West) finished with four RBIs in Game 1, including a three-run double to right-center that gave the Chargers a 6-5 lead in the first. Figueroa, Mennenga and Blake Russell (Joy, Ill./Mercer County) each drove in two for Sandburg.

Right-hander Matt Trouten (Moline, Ill./Moline) settled in for a complete-game victory after a lengthy five-run first inning. He allowed nine hits and three walks while striking out eight to improve to 5-0 in conference games.

The Braves never trailed in Game 2, jumping to a 6-0 lead after their half of the fourth. Levi Brening (Coon Rapids, Minn./DuQuoin) homered twice and drove in three for the Chargers. Jordan Chandler (Erie, Ill./Erie) and Mitchell Ellison (East Moline, Ill./United) each went 3 for 4 in Game 2 for Sandburg.

First pitch for Wednesday’s doubleheader is set for 2 p.m. Follow Chargers baseball on GameChanger for live scoring updates.

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Aaron Frey