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5-Game HR Streak Nets Chargers’ Ball NJCAA Player of the Week Award

GALESBURG — A five-game home run streak helped Carl Sandburg College freshman outfielder Mitch Ball (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria) take home the final NJCAA Division II Baseball Player of the Week award of the regular season.

Ball went yard in each of the Chargers’ five games from April 25-May 2, hitting six homers in all. He finished the week with a .450 batting average (9 for 20), .476 on-base percentage and 1.500 slugging percentage for an eye-popping 1.976 OPS.

In addition to his six home runs, Balls racked up a double, a triple, 13 RBIs, eight runs and a stolen base during the week, helping Sandburg (22-18) to three wins, including walk-off victories over Illinois Central and No. 17 Kankakee.

In Game 2 of the Chargers’ April 26 doubleheader against Highland, Ball went 3 for 4 with a walk, a home run, three runs scored and two RBIs, falling a triple shy of the cycle. He helped Sandburg rally for a 9-8 win over nationally ranked Kankakee on Friday, connecting for a pair of home runs and driving in three.

Ball is the first Sandburg baseball player to earn National Player of the Week honors since Braedon Blackford in 2019.

Ball and the Chargers can clinch the program’s eighth Arrowhead Conference championship with a win this afternoon in a 2 p.m. doubleheader against Kishwaukee at home. A sweep would give Sandburg the outright conference title.

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