GALESBURG — League MVP Caileb Johnson (Brimfield, Ill./Brimfield) headlined seven members of the Carl Sandburg College baseball team who were voted to the 2022 All-Arrowhead Conference team after helping the Chargers to the outright championship.
Johnson, a freshman first baseman, became the first Charger to be voted the conference’s Most Valuable Player since Jordan Chandler in 2019. He was joined on the all-conference team by fellow Chargers Mitch Ball (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria), Jack Shields (Peoria Heights, Ill./Notre Dame), Logan Van Heuklon (Dunlap, Ill./Dunlap), Chase Mason (Washington, Ill./Washington), McKoy Allen (Rutland, Ill./Fieldcrest) and Jason Hise (Knoxville, Ill./Knoxville).
In 18 conference games, Johnson led the Chargers with an .865 slugging percentage and 1.388 OPS. He also tied for the team lead with five homers, six doubles and two triples, giving him a Sandburg-best 13 extra-base hits. Johnson finished the conference season with a .385 batting average, .522 on-base percentage, 23 RBIs and 19 runs scored.
Ball, a freshman outfielder, led Sandburg with 26 hits, 24 RBIs and 23 runs scored in 19 Arrowhead games while also tying Johnson for the team lead with five homers and two triples. Against league opponents, he hit .433/.485/.833 for a 1.318 OPS, which was second on the team to Johnson. He also stole six bases in six attempts and was named the NJCAA Division II Player of the Week for April 25-May 2.
A freshman outfielder, Shields led the Chargers with a .467 average and .575 on-base percentage in league action. He finished with a homer, nine RBIs and 11 runs scored while being limited to just 12 conference games because of a midseason leg injury.
Van Heuklon, a freshman catcher, hit .377/.459/.491 over 61 plate appearances in 19 conference games. The Chargers’ backstop had a home run, 18 RBIs and 16 runs scored while also throwing out 72 percent of attempted base-stealers (5 for 7) and picking off a runner.
Mason, a freshman shortstop, hit .346 with a .528 OPB and .654 slugging percentage in 18 Arrowhead games. He homered four times, drove in 14 and scored 21 runs. Mason also swiped a team-best 11 bases in league play.
Allen, a freshman left-hander, made a team-leading five starts and threw a team-high 25.1 innings in conference play. The southpaw posted a 3-1 record, 1.11 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and led the Chargers pitching staff with 30 strikeouts while walking just four batters. Allen didn’t allow a run in three of his five appearances and fanned 12 over six shutout innings in a victory April 9 against Illinois Valley.
Hise, a freshman right-hander, was a perfect 4-0 in four starts over 16 Arrowhead innings. Hise held batters to a .233 average and put up a 1.75 ERA and 1.25 WHIP while striking out 16 batters against six walks. He whiffed six while tossing a two-hit shutout in an April 4 victory over Kishwaukee.
2022 ALL-ARROWHEAD CONFERENCE BASEBALL TEAM
MVP — Caileb Johnson (Sandburg)
Infield — Caileb Johnson (Sandburg), Chance Resetich (Black Hawk), Matt Makarwich (Sauk Valley), Jancarlos Colon Pagan (Highland), Drake Weber (Illinois Valley)
Outfield — Lucas Spence (Black Hawk), Mitch Ball (Sandburg), Jack Shields (Sandburg), Brandon Roth (Black Hawk), Grant Wasson (Sauk Valley)
Catchers — Sebastian Cabeza (Black Hawk), Logan Van Heuklon (Sandburg)
Designated Hitter — Chase Mason (Sandburg)
Pitchers — Giacomo O’Neill (Black Hawk), McKoy Allen (Sandburg), Jacob Ryan (Sauk Valley), Jason Hise (Sandburg)
2022 ARROWHEAD CONFERENCE BASEBALL STANDINGS Sandburg 17-3 Black Hawk 16-4 Highland 10-9 Sauk Valley 8-10 Illinois Valley 3-12 Kishwaukee 1-17