Althoff edges Belleville West in tight rivalry game

News-DemocratMay 3, 2014 

— As a senior who was 1-for-8 on the season before Saturday, Althoff's Josh Davinroy was looking to make an impression in the city rivalry baseball game against Belleville West.

Davinroy got it done from the No. 9 spot in the order, coming up with a two-run double in the fifth inning to give Althoff the lead on the way to a 4-3 victory.

"He hasn't gotten a lot of at-bats, but I always know when he bats in (batting practice) that he puts the ball in play," Althoff coach Brett Isaacs said after the Crusaders improved to 18-5. "Coming up with runners at second and third I had a lot of confidence he'd put the ball in play. I didn't know he'd put it that far in play."

Davinroy worked the count to 3-2 before stroking a pitch from West starter Zach Skaer (1-2) into left-center for a clutch double.

"This game against West, I know it means so much to the kids and it means the most to the seniors," Isaacs said. "He's a senior and he came up big today."

Althoff junior pitcher Austin Keen (5-1) wasn't bad either, working in and out of trouble before retiring the final seven hitters in order to close out a complete game.

Keen allowed seven hits and three runs, but he appreciated Davinroy's big contribution to the victory.

"It was the greatest relief," Keen said. "It put us ahead and gave us the lead we needed and we shut them down after that. I could feel myself getting a little tired, but I had to finish it out for the rest of the guys."

Althoff trailed 2-1 heading into the fifth as Belleville West (9-11) got an RBI groundout from Trey Hopkins in the second and an RBI single from Skaer in the third.

Ben Hankammer singled to start the Althoff fifth and Jake Fischer's sacrifice bunt toward third ended up inducing a wild throw from Maroons' third baseman Hopkins.

Davinroy followed with a two-run double and was bunted to third by Sam Haudrich before Keen drove in what proved to be the winning run with a sacrifice fly to center.

"The big play that gets lost in that is Jake Fischer's bunt," Isaacs said. "He put a great bunt down and forced the action. They threw it away and then we get the big hit by Davinroy."

Belleville West crept to within 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by Spencer Piquard. But with runners at first and second, Althoff right fielder Collin McClellan hauled in a line drive off the bat of Michael Len and threw to first to get an inning-ending double play.

McClellan also drove in Althoff's first run when his first-inning single chased home Keen after Keen doubled.

"That was a typical West-Althoff game," Belleville West coach Lee Meyer said. "We got the best of them last year and they came back and got us this year. It was a good baseball game.

"We made improvements this week and that's the most important. We keep making those strides and we're working for the regional."

Meyer was encouraged by Skaer's start.

"That was his first start of the year and he's done a great job for us in relief," Meyer said.

Belleville West got several big defensive plays, most notably tough catches in the outfield by right fielder Parker Beine and a diving catch in left by Brendan Saak. Althoff second baseman Luke Frazier took a hit away from Matt Klosterman in the seventh.

Contact reporter Norm Sanders at 239-2454, or follow him on Twitter: @NormSanders

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