Searching for a positive vibe after losing four of their last seven games, the Freeburg Midgets found it Thursday in a late comeback victory.
Trailing 5-0 in the fifth inning, the Midgets rallied for a 6-5 Cahokia Conference win over Wesclin on two-run single in the bottom of the seventh by Derricke Rozycke.
"This is a big win," said Freeburg coach Drew Gericke, whose 14-6 team improved to 4-2 in league play. "We have not been playing well and our defense has struggled lately to put us in a hole. To have a big comeback and get a win like this helps everybody's confidence."
Midgets starting pitcher Nick Yung fell behind 5-0 early, but helped his team dig out of the hole with a three-run double in the bottom of the sixth.
Freeburg loaded the bases with one out in the seventh and pushed across a run on a Wesclin error. Rozycke followed with a two-run single to win the game.
"We came up with some clutch hits and moved some runners over," Gericke said. "We've been struggling with that lately. Our hitters made some adjustments to the pitcher and once they got a feel for those adjustments, they started hitting the ball harder and finding some holes."
Rozycke was 2-for-4 with two RBIs while Cody Siebenberger was 2-for-2. Luke Yaekel got the win in relief of Yung, tossing a hitless, scoreless seventh inning with two walks and two strikeouts.
Yung pitched the first six innings.
Wesclin scored three times in the first with the big hit coming on a two-run single by Kyle Eversgerd. The Warriors scored twice on balls that got away from the catcher to build a 5-0 lead in the fifth before Freeburg climbed back into the game.
Columbia's 6-5 win over Carlyle on Thursday also kept things tight in the Cahokia Conference-Mississippi Division race.
Columbia (13-4) is on top at 5-1, followed by Freeburg and Wesclin (13-7, 4-2) and Carlyle (14-4, 3-3).
"It's a tough conference and people beat up on each other," Gericke said. "I can't remember when a team went undefeated, much less having one loss."
Althoff 8, Mount Vernon 2
Ben Hankammer scattered five hits and struck out six in five strong innings and Collin McClellan had a double, triple and four RBIs as Althoff (15-3 overall, 4-1 in league play) defeated Mount Vernon in a South Seven Conference game.
Althoff's Luke Frazier was 2-for-4 with two RBIs while Sam Haudrich also had two hits. The Crusaders had a 5-0 lead by the fifth, then added three more runs in the top of the seventh to put the game away.
Collinsville 2, Belleville West 0
Kyle Reeves (4-0) held West to two hits in a complete-game win and the Collinsville Kahoks (11-7, 4-3 in league play) scored two runs in the top of the sixth to squeeze out a Southwestern Conference victory over the Maroons (9-9, 3-4).
Brendan Saak was the tough-luck pitcher for West, allowing only four hits and two unearned runs in 6 2/3 innings with four strikeouts.
A two-out, two run double by Collinsville's Aaron Peskar in the sixth proved to be the difference. Reeves struck out four and got several key defensive plays along the way.
Collinsville had lost three in a row and five of its last six.
"It was awesome, a shot in the arm," Kahoks coach Pete Trapp said of Reeves' performance. "He threw strikes and we made plays; we also picked a guy off second."
Granite City 4, Belleville East 2
Ryan Steen was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs and Austin Buzick struck out nine in a complete-game victory as Granite City defeated Belleville East in a Southwestern Conference game.
Bruce Drennan also had two hits for Granite City, which broke a 2-2 tie by scoring twice in the top of the seventh.
Columbia 6, Carlyle 5
Columbia won its seventh straight game, scoring five times in the first inning against Carlyle starter John Becker.
Cole Foster and Jacob Hill drove in two runs each for the Eagles in their Cahokia Conference win.
Brendan Wilhelm tossed a complete-game win for Columbia, allowing six hits and five runs while striking out four. Carlyle's Tommy Cummins had a double and two RBIs and Becker also drove in a run.