BELLEVILLE — Helping Belleville West pitching standout Parker Beine to a four-run lead in the top first was a big mistake for the Belleville East Lancers.
Thankful for the run support, the junior right-hander held Belleville East to one hit over the first five innings Tuesday and just three overall in a 5-1 Southwestern Conference baseball victory.
"The greatest thing was four runs in the first inning, that was a huge help," said Beine (5-3), who allowed only a third-inning single to East catcher Lucas Weisbrodt before the Lancers scored their only run in the sixth.
Beine also drove in two of West's five runs.
While the Class 4A regional seeds were already determined before Tuesday -- Belleville East (15-9 overall, 7-4 in the SWC) is second and Belleville West (15-9, 7-3) is third behind top-seeded O'Fallon -- any East-West game guarantees a large crowd and extra intensity.
Belleville East shut down Belleville West 6-1 on April 11 at West, so the Maroons returned the favor on their visit to the east side of town.
"Parker attacked the strike zone, he mixed his pitches well," West coach Lee Meyer said. "He kept them off balance and really did a great job. Even when he was in trouble and they got a couple hits, he'd bear down and get the out.
"That's the sign of a good pitcher and I tell you, Parker's a pitcher to reckon with. He's been good all year."
The four-run first turned out to be the deciding factor because Belleville East starter Brandon Hoguet (3-4) was equally sharp.
The Lancers were undone by two errors and RBI singles off the bats of Aaron Meyer and Brendan Saak.
Hoguet hit Alex Sharos with a pitch leading off the first and East first baseman Dean Gerros' throw was late to second on an attempted force play.
Meyer, who was 2-for-3 with a double and robbed of another hit on an excellent diving catch by East outfielder Parker Hendricks, made it 1-0 with an RBI single.
Beine's sacrifice fly made it 2-0 and a throwing error by East third baseman Anthony Garza allowed another run to score. Saak's RBI single made it 4-0.
"That first inning was really a kick in the teeth for us, to be honest," Belleville East coach Todd Blomberg said. "I thought after the first inning it was kind of a pitchers duel. But that first inning we gave up five outs and that's hard to do, to come back and win from a four-spot in the first inning against any team with a good pitcher in our conference."
Hoguet settled down after the first and didn't allow another run until the fifth. Meyer doubled and went to third on a fly ball before scoring on Beine's RBI single.
"I thought he was excellent," Blomberg said of Hoguet. "The first inning was a little shaky for us, but he settled in and I really thought pitch-for-pitch matched exactly what their kid did."
East scored its lone run in the sixth when Danny Snyder reached on a walk, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Hoguet's RBI single.
"I didn't throw as many off-speed (pitches) today, a lot of fastballs that got ground balls," said Beine, whose infield turned doubles plays in the third and seventh innings. "Again, my defense did well for me."
Meyer's team has struggled to find offense at times, but with Beine's pitching had more than enough Tuesday.
"These guys are competitors, they've done it all year," Meyer said. "What I liked about today was not just our pitching performance, but our defense was good. We did some little things and we took advantage of them making some mistakes."
Both coaches believe the teams will meet again in the first round of the O'Fallon Regional.
"East-West, that's the game you remember your whole lives," Blomberg said. "Of all the games I played, and I played over 100 varsity baseball games when I was here at East, it seems like the ones you remember are the Belleville West games or the Althoff games."
"Those are the big rivalries, you still see guys from those teams and you talk to them."