Story, photos, and video by Chet Piotrowski Jr.
Charleston managed to salvage a split against Mattoon during an exciting baseball doubleheader Monday at Baker Field that featured both walk-off and extra-inning wins in Apollo Conference openers at Baker Field.
Charleston pitcher Josh Sipes exited the game with a 1-0 lead after five spectacular innings, allowing no runs and two hits while walking one for relief pitcher Aiden Archibald. Archibald got two quick outs until Mattoon’s Cayden Knierem singled in Luke Perry to tie the score.
Archibald got Mattoon’s Camden Jordan to hit a pop fly that Charleston first baseman James Hess corraled in foul territory for the third out.
Charleston’s Will Applegate, who took the loss in the first game, ignited the winning rally in the top of the ninth. He hit a hard grounder to Mattoon first baseman Knierem, who bobbled the ball before stepping on Applegate’s foot while beat him to the bag, which kicked up dust in the already windy infield.
Archibald followed up with a double to center field that drive in Applegate to give the Trojans a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Archibald walked leadoff hitter Camden Jordan in the bottom of the ninth, before striking out Jackson Helms and inducing Korbin Bateman and Madden Johnson to ground out to end the game for the win.
Archibald allowed one run on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts. He also drove in both runs on three hits on three hits and a walk.
Slater Trier led Mattoon by going 2-for-4 and Knierem collected both a hit and a walk.
Mattoon’s Cayden Knierem took one for the team literally in helping the Green Wave defeat Charleston, 3-2, in the first game.
The first baseman was hit by a pitch from Applegate after the Trojans intentionally loaded the bases. Knierem took a 3-1 pitch to the side, scoring Trier.
Jackson Helms, while shaky at times, pitched five solid innings allowing one run on eight hits walking three and striking out five.
Joseph Stewart came in for relief allowing one run on three hits in two innings for the win.
Applegate allowed three runs on nine hits, struck out two and walked one across 6 1/3 innings.
Knierem went 1-for-2 with the rbi and two runs, while Helms helped himself at the plate going 2-for-2 and driving in a run.
Charleston’s Josh Sipes went 2-for-3 with a walk and scoring a run, while Applegate went 2-for-4 with two rbi.