The Trojans remain very alive in the conference standings with three losses but will need a sweep over Mount Zion to stay near the top. Here is a preview of Saturday’s game. 

Team Records: Charleston 9-7 (4-3) @ Mount Zion 7-11 (3-5)

Where: Mount Zion High School

School Size: Charleston (796), Mount Zion (763)

First pitch 11 a.m.

Opponent’s History: Mount Zion has been led by J.D. Arnold for at least the last three seasons. Last year, the Braves were 15-8 overall and 5-2 in the conference. The team has won four IHSA Regional Championships since 2011. 

Mount Zion’s Past Results: The Braves have a competitive schedule with several well-known opponents. Among their wins, the Braves defeated Decatur Eisenhower and Decatur St. Teresa by a combined 27-0. The team owns both a 12-9 win and 1-0 loss against Effingham. Then, the Braves swept Taylorville 17-4 and 14-3. The team has lost seven of its last eight games, including 3-0 and 4-2 losses to Mattoon and 16-5, 6-5 loss to Lincoln. 

Mount Zion’s Top Players: Top players and stats are unavailable. 

Mount Zion’s Team Stats:  No stats are available. 

Charleston’s Past Results: With the weather, it’s been a slow week for Charleston. Last week, the team split with Effingham. The team lost the opener 13-4 and then salvaged the second game, 3-2. Their game against Paris was rained out. The team plays Casey-Westfield on Thursday. 

Charleston’s Team Stats: Collin Patterson continues to lead the Trojans in hitting with a .405 average and 15 hits, while Kendall Pankey has a team-best 17 runs scored. William Applegate is runner-up in all three of those categories, plus he leads the team with 17 runs batted in and five home runs. On the mound, Connor Woodley (1-3) leads the team with 24.2 innings pitched with 34 strikeouts and 14 walks. Pankey has 18 strikeouts in 10.2 innings pitched. 

What Charleston Said: “Mt. Zion has been able to put together a couple of good wins in the conference,” said head coach Daniel Bennett. “It will be a tough matchup for us.  They have the ability to put up some runs so we will need to be prepared for two tough conference games on the road. We have a great opportunity this weekend as long as we take care of what we can control.  In our first game against Effingham, we had some errors and mental mistakes that were not characteristic of this team.  We have great pitching and great defense that gives us a chance to win every game we play so as long as we show up mentally ready we will have a good chance this weekend.”