VALMEYER — Waterloo pitcher Andy Galle held both his emotions and the bats of the Fairview Heights Redbirds in check at just the right time Saturday at Borsch Memorial Park.
Galle allowed seven hits in a complete-game effort as Waterloo edged Fairview Heights 4-1 in a semifinal victory at the 42nd annual Valmeyer Mid-Summer Classic.
Getting a solid defensive effort from his infield, which turned three double plays and played errorless baseball, Galle allowed just a third-inning run and faced just five hitters over the minimum as he led the 11-time champion Millers into another title contest.
"Andy is the Dizzy Dean of the Waterloo Millers pitching staff,'' manager Vern Moehrs said. "He is just a hyper, high-strung individual. But when he pitches like he did today, he's awfully tough to beat.''
Millers right fielder L.J. Watson went 4-for-5 to lead a 12-hit attack, while Joe Winkel and Ryan Hall had run-scoring singles in the fourth inning to give Waterloo the lead for good.
The win moves the Millers into the title game at 3:30 p.m. today, where they will take on the St. Louis Printers.
The Printers advanced with a 10-1 win over Cape Girardeau in the other semifinal.
Action begins at Borsch Memorial Park at 10 a.m., when Millstadt takes on the St. Louis Spikes in the fifth-place game. Fairview Heights will then play Cape Girardeau for third place at 12:30 p.m.
Fairview Heights, a tournament finalist in three of the past six years, struck first in the third inning.
Singles by Mickie Sellers and Sam Wahlig followed by a walk to pitcher Rob Blumberg, loaded the bases with one out.
Sellers eventually scored the Redbirds' lone run on a wild pitch.
Waterloo bounced right back with two runs in the fourth inning, taking the lead for good.
Watson led off with a single and one out later went to third on a single by Justin Dunning. Winkel and Hall followed with back-to-back singles, putting the Millers in front to stay at 2-1.
Watson then led off with a double in the fifth and scored on a single by Nick Dunning, increasing the lead to 3-1.
"L.J. Watson had a heck of game for us,'' Moehrs said. "But I thought our defense was great all day. Three double plays and I think two of those came when they (Fairview Heights) had runners in scoring position.''
Blumberg, who also went the distance, wasn't bad either. It's just that on this day, Galle was a little better.
"Rob pitched a good ballgame for us. We just couldn't get a big hit and those double players really hurt," Fairview Heights manager Ed Emge said. "Galle pitched well for them. He worked fast and he threw strikes. I don't think he threw 100 pitches.''
Justin Dunning drove in the Millers' final run with a single in the seventh inning.