Sandburg Sweeps IVCC for Outright Arrowhead Conference Title

  Aaron Frey
  Sunday, April 28, 2019 8:59 PM

Galesburg, IL

The Carl Sandburg College baseball team will stand alone atop the Arrowhead Conference.

The Chargers claimed the outright league championship with a 5-3 victory in Game 1 of their doubleheader Sunday at home against Illinois Valley, then finished off a sweep of the Eagles with a 15-1 five-inning win in Game 2.

Sandburg (25-11-1, 17-1), which had a four-game lead with four conference games left entering the weekend, has won eight of its last nine overall and will have the Arrowhead crown to itself after sharing the title last year with Black Hawk.

It’s the Chargers’ seventh Arrowhead title (1974, 1982, 1987, 1989, 2008, 2018) and the first time in program history they’ve repeated as conference champs. Sandburg has outscored league opponents by a 209-64 margin in 18 games.

Sandburg 5, Illinois Valley 3

Illinois Valley   010      002      0          —         3          5          1
Sandburg         000      131      x          —         5          7          1
W: Jackson Porter 7 IP, 11 K, 1 BB
L: Bryce Nolan 5.1 IP, 3 K, 3 BB

Key Moments

  • Tied 1-1 in the fifth, the Chargers loaded the bases with three straight singles to begin the inning. Jordan Chandler (Erie, Ill./Erie) hit a grounder to second base, and the Eagles’ throw to second went wide and into left field to clear the bases for a 4-1 Chargers lead.
  • IVCC got back within 4-3 in the sixth and had runners at second and third with one out before Jackson Porter (LaHarpe, Ill./Illini West) fanned the next to batters to get out of the jam.
  • Porter allowed a two-out walk in the seventh before getting the next batter to pop out to second baseman Isaac Riegler (McLean, Ill./Olympia) to clinch the Chargers’ outright title.

Sandburg Standout
Porter struck out a season-high 11 to pick up the complete-game victory as he improved to 5-0 in the conference and 8-0 overall. The Chargers’ ace allowed two earned runs on five hits and a walk while throwing 70 of his 101 pitches for strikes.

Other Top Chargers

  • Braedon Blackford (Peoria, Ill./Notre Dame) 1 for 1, three walks, run, two stolen bases
  • Koy Smith (Revere, Mo./Canton) 1 for 3, double, run
  • Noah Hoepfner (East Moline, Ill./United Township) 1 for 3, walk, run, stolen base

Sandburg 15, Illinois Valley 1 (5 innings)

Illinois Valley   000      01        —         1          2          6
Sandburg         433      5x        —         15        11        1
W: Nolan Struhs 5 IP, 6 K, 1 BB
L: Jake Hanlon 2 IP, 3 K, 5 BB

Key Moments

  • The Chargers took advantage of four hits and an Eagles error to jump to an early 4-0 lead in the first.
  • Chandler put an exclamation point on the afternoon with a three-run homer to center to put Sandburg up 15-0 in the fourth.

Sandburg Standout
Sophomore lefty Nolan Struhs (Avon, Ill./Abingdon-Avon) allowed just two hits and a walk while going the distance to join Porter with a 5-0 mark in Arrowhead contests. Struhs surrendered just an unearned run in the fifth and struck out six batters.

Other Top Chargers

  • Chandler 3 for 3, double, home run, walk, four runs, three RBIs, stolen base
  • Blackford 1 for 3, double, walk, two runs, two RBIs, stolen base
  • Devon Ballard (Fulton, Ill./Fulton) 2 for 3, run, two RBIs

The Chargers finish their conference slate and four-game series with the Eagles with a doubleheader at IVCC at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

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Aaron Frey