O'Fallon High senior Blake Deatherage notched his 10th victory Tuesday and the Panthers won their 15th in a row, nailing down a 6-4 Southwestern Conference baseball victory over Belleville West with solid relief help from Tyler Herbert.
"In my 13 years here I've never had a kid get 10 wins in the regular season," O'Fallon coach Jason Portz said after watching Deatherage (10-0) and Belleville West senior Parker Beine (5-4) battle it out on an unseasonably cool evening at Blazier Field.
Deatherage allowed six hits and four runs in 4 1/3 innings, striking out five as O'Fallon (27-2) maintained its hold on first place in the SWC standings with an 11-1 league mark.
"He wasn't as sharp as he has been in the past, but he was effective enough to keep us in the game," said Portz, whose team had to peck away on offense while leaving 12 runners stranded. "We left some opportunities out there to put the game away early. They hung around and really competed hard against us tonight."
Herbert came on in relief and shut down the Maroons the rest of the way, allowing one hit in 2 2/3 inings.
"Tyler was dominant," Portz said. "He faced 10 hitters and had one walk and one hit. There were not a lot of quality swings against him."
O'Fallon senior second baseman Collin Holton also had a big day with two hits and three runs scored.
"He's the guy that really sets the table for us," Portz said. "He plays defense and does all the small things."
Belleville West (12-13, 5-7) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a run-scoring groundout by Jacob Wilson and scored another run in the third on an RBI single by Zach Skaer.
A fielder's choice ground ball and a wild pickoff throw helped the Maroons score two more in the fifth. Sophomore Cal Kossina had two hits for the Maroons, who continue to struggle offensively.
"We're making tiny strides and looking for positives every game," West coach Lee Meyer said. "We had some positives today but the bottom line is we want to win. Our guys battled to the very end and that shows something about their character."
Beine allowed six runs in 4-plus innings, striking out five.
O'Fallon tied the game 1-1 in the first on an RBI single by Deatherage, scoring Holton.
Hayden Hewitt doubled and scored on an RBI single by Holton in the second. Chris Holba and Bradley Harrison added RBI singled to push O'Fallon's lead to 4-1.
O'Fallon's Dean Gerros scored on a wild pitch in the third and the Panthers added another run in the fifth on an infield single.
Harrison was 2-for-3 with two RBIs while Hewitt, Holton and Bradley Snyder all had two hits.