Chargers Sweep Eagles, Set Up Showdown With Black Hawk for Conference Title

  Aaron Frey
  Tuesday, April 24, 2018 8:44 PM

Galesburg, IL

The Carl Sandburg College baseball team swept Illinois Valley 11-1 and 4-2 on Tuesday at the William “Bill” Hungate Baseball/Softball Complex, setting up a four-game series with Black Hawk to decide the Arrowhead Conference championship.

The Chargers (21-8, 14-2) stayed even in the loss column with Black Hawk (12-2 Arrowhead), which swept Highland Tuesday afternoon. The Braves also have a doubleheader against Illinois Valley remaining on their conference schedule.

Sandburg will play at Black Hawk in a doubleheader at noon Saturday before closing the series at 2 p.m. Tuesday in the Chargers’ conference finale. Sandburg is in search of its sixth conference championship and first since 2008. 

Sandburg 13, Illinois Valley 1 (5 innings)

Illinois Valley   010      00        —        1          5          3
Sandburg         303      5x        —        11        5          0
W: Nolan Struhs (5-1) 5 IP, 5 K, 2 BB

Key Moment
Leading 3-1 in the third, the Chargers gave themselves some cushion when Kevin Ulrich delivered a two-run single (Benson, Ill./Roanoke-Benson), moved to second on a wild pitch and scored when the Eagles’ shortstop couldn’t handle a grounder from Antonio Dominguez (Rock Island, Ill./United Township).

Sandburg Star of the Game
Ulrich reached in all three of his plate appearances, going 2 for 2 with a walk, two runs and two RBIs.

 Top Chargers Hitters

  • Ulrich 2 for 2, walk, two runs, two RBIs
  • Cacey O’Brien (Moline, Ill./Moline) 1 for 2, double, walk, two runs, two RBIs
  • Blake Russell (Joy, Ill./Mercer County) 1 for 3, double, two RBIs

Sandburg 4, Illinois Valley 2

Illinois Valley   000      100      1          —        2          7          2
Sandburg         020      020      x          —        4          5          1
W: Jack Gray (5-2) 7 IP, 9 K, 2 BB

Key Moments

  • Sandburg led 2-1 in the fifth when Payton Hartbank (Mattoon, Ill./Mattoon) drew a leadoff walk and scored on O’Brien’s double to center. Ulrich added a base hit to center two batters later to plate O’Brien for a 4-1 lead.
  • IVCC scored a run in the seventh against Jack Gray (Burlington, Iowa/Notre Dame) and brought the tying run to the plate with two out before Gray ended the contest with a strikeout.

Sandburg Star of the Game
Gray went the distance to pick up the victory, allowing seven hits and two walks while striking out nine. The sophomore lefty threw 75 of his 110 pitches for strikes.

Top Chargers Hitters
Ulrich 2 for 3, double, walk, run, RBI, stolen base

Up Next
The Chargers play at Danville Area at 3 p.m. Wednesday before kicking off their series with Black Hawk at noon Saturday in Moline.

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Aaron Frey