Sandburg Baseball Finishes 2nd in Arrowhead Conference

  Aaron Frey
  Wednesday, May 3, 2017 8:35 PM

Moline, IL

The Carl Sandburg College baseball team settled for second in the Arrowhead Conference standings.

Needing a sweep Wednesday at 17th-ranked Black Hawk to win the league crown, the Chargers instead saw the host and conference-leading Braves clinch the title with a 7-2 victory in Game 1 before sweeping the doubleheader with a 10-1 win in Game 2. The Chargers (26-19 overall) concluded their Arrowhead schedule with a 12-6 mark, three games behind the Braves and good for second place.

Black Hawk jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first inning of the opener, with the initial two runs scoring on an error from a fielder’s choice at third following a bunt with runners at first and second.

Levi Brening (Coon Rapids, Minn./DuQuoin) got the Chargers on the board with a solo homer to center in the second, but Black Hawk plated two in the bottom half to extend its lead to 5-1.

Sandburg cuts its deficit to 6-2 in the fifth as Nolan Ard (Carthage, Ill./Illini West) singled in Sean O’Malley (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods), who had doubled with one out. With Ard on second and two away, first baseman Jordan Chandler (Erie, Ill./Erie) drove a pitch to center that was caught near the fence to end the threat. 

Brening smacked a one-out ground-rule double to left-center in the sixth, but he was stranded there after Mitchell Ellison (East Moline, Ill./United Township) was robbed of a hit in left field and Payton Hartbank (Mattoon, Ill./Mattoon) struck out to end the inning.

Chargers starter Alec Drake (Macomb, Ill./Macomb) went the distance in Game 1, allowing just two runs on four hits over his final four innings of work.

Black Hawk scored five first-inning runs while never trailing in Game 2. Marty Mennenga (Rantoul, Ill./Paxton-Buckley-Loda) had two of the Chargers’ six hits and knocked in their lone run, a fourth-inning single that plated Blake Russel (Joy, Ill./Mercer County) to make it 7-1.

The Chargers have nonconference matchups five of the next six days to conclude the regular season, starting with a nine-inning contest at Illinois Central at 5 p.m. Thursday.

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Aaron Frey