ALBIA — The Chariton Chargers claimed the outright South Central baseball championship with a 7-1 and 7-3 sweep of Albia Monday night in Albia. The two wins gave No. 7 (3A) Chariton a 16-4 mark in the SCC, one game ahead of the Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont Rockets.
Get a couple of runs here, add a couple of runs there, tack on a couple of more a few innings later, and tack on one more just to be sure. That was the formula for a 7-1 game one win.
No big innings, but constant pressure on the Blue Demon defense, allowed the Chargers to take advantage of any opportunity to score. Chariton scored its seven runs on only six hits in the opener.
“Our bats were dragging a little early but I felt like we gave ourselves chances to score,” said Chariton coach Jake Schroeder. “I thought we picked up our hitting in the second game like we needed to.”
Charlie Palmer gave Chariton a great start. He opened the game by recording the first six outs against Albia all via the strikeout. He would go on to have nine in his six innings of work.
“I felt really good early and coach said it looked like I had a little extra zip on my fastball,” said Palmer. “Then I just settled in and tried to stay in my routine.”
“We just weren’t mentally ready to have good swings at the plate to start game one,” said Albia coach Boyd Brittain.
The Chargers went up 2-0 in the second. Austin Ritenour delivered a two-out, two-RBI single.
That would be Ritenour’s only hit of the game, but with a walk and two sacrifice flies (one for an RBI), all four of his at-bats were productive.
“You can definitely be productive without getting a hit,” said Ritenour. “Being in the lead-off spot, you are just looking to get on or at least work the count.”