BELLEVILLE — Belleville West's confidence in junior right-hander Parker Beine was finally rewarded Saturday at Whitey Herzog Field.
Beine (3-3) was in complete command through all seven innings in a 3-2 victory over the Althoff Crusaders, allowing seven hits with five strikeouts to outduel Althoff ace Bryce Richter.
"He had an outstanding performance tonight," Belleville West coach Lee Meyer said. "He's had had some great outings this year and he needed this one night because we've used him quite a bit in difference roles as starter and reliever. This is his best outing as starter and he showed a of guts there in the seventh inning when they were threatening. We've got a lot of confidence in him on the mound. I don't think he gave him to anybody."
West (11-6) broke a 1-1 tie on Donnie Foster's two-out RBI single off Richter in the top of the fourth inning that scored Adam Bauer.
Althoff (7-9) stranded two runners in the fourth then got infield singles in the seventh from Ben Hankammer and Sam Haudrich. But with two outs, Beine struck out Grant Strieker to nail down the win.
"He knows we have confidence in him and he has confidence in himself," Meyer said. "To go out there in a city game with pressure on him, especially in the seventh inning, he showed a lot of guts and made some great pitches."
Althoff coach Brett Isaacs agreed, especially after the Crusaders had two runners reach safely in the seventh.
"That's how we have to play and we're bound to put that pressure on teams a lot of times and hopefully we put enough pressure on them that they crack," Isaacs said. "We had a chance, first and second and a 3-2 count and just didn't get it done. They threw a good pitch and got us out."
Beine has plenty of friends in the Althoff lineup since many are teammates on the Belleville American Legion Hilgards,
"It was a great game," Beine said. "I tried to pitch to contact and let my fielders do the work and they did that for me. I had some adrenaline pumping, I have a lot of friends on Althoff. Just getting the win and having that feeling of beating them and having those bragging rights all summer."
Althoff took a a 1-0 lead in the first when San Haudrich singled, stole second and scored on an RBI hit by Luke Frazier.
West tied it in the third on a run-scoring single by Aaron Meyer.
"I can't say enough good things about Bryce, he competed hard and had a great game we well," coach Meyer said of Richter. "We were fortunate enough to come out on top and got some timely hits."