BELLEVILLE — Belleville Hilgards pitcher Sam Lidisky was in energy conservation mode Wednesday night at Whitey Herzog Field,
The left-hander needed only 80 pitches while tossing a one-hit shutout, striking out 10 in Belleville's 4-0 American Legion baseball victory over Highland.
Lidisky, an Althoff High School graduate headed to McKendree University, pulled the plug on the Highland offense by allowing only a first-inning double to Trace Schuepbach.
Lidisky limited the opposition to three baserunners the rest of the way, retiring nine straight hitters at one point.
"I was just throwing a lot of fastballs and a lot of strikes," Lidisky said. "I was attacking. I think I only had one or two full counts and I walked two. Other than that the ball was moving enough where they couldn't center it up so I was getting a lot of ground balls and fly balls."
Belleville (15-3) had lost 8-2 to Highland (6-3) earlier this season and also was coming off a 3-2 defeat against Alton the night before. The Hilgards turned the ball over to Lidisky and he started a new winning streak.
"Sam did an amazing job tonight of not only mixing the pitches up but controlling the strike zone," Belleville manager Zach Rakowski said. "It felt like on almost every hitter he was ahead 0-1, 1-2. ... He's just really tough with the offspeed stuff.
"He has a really good idea how to pitch and how to attack guys."
Highland starter Jake Haberer made things tough on the Belleville hitters, striking out nine in just four innings and allowing only four hits.
Haberer struck out the side in the first, but was dented for a run in the bottom of the second.
Caleb Tatum took second when his leadoff single was misplayed by the Highland center fielder, then scored on an RBI single by Austin Bammer.
Belleville's Cameron Lofton scored from second to make it 2-0 when Aaron Meyer drove a double over the right fielder's head in the third inning. A Highland error led to another run in the inning.
Belleville tacked on another run in the fourth when Haberer hit Alex Heitzman with the bases loaded to make it 4-0. Bammer was 2-for-3 for the Hilgards and Meyer reached base three times on a double and two walks.
"They scored a few runs on us early up at Highland and they kind of got us down and we re able to hold the lead," Rakowski said. "It's something we've been talking about, too, scoring early, and tonight we were able to do that and flipped the table on them."
Highland had only two baserunners after the third inning on a walk and hit batsman.
Contact reporter Norm Sanders at email@example.com or 239-2454.