Photos from Belleville West-Collinsville baseball
Luke Trapp pitched a complete game and Alex Bernard delivered a tie-breaking single in the eighth inning Friday as the Belleville West Maroons stayed in the hunt for the Southwestern Conference title with a 4-3 win over Collinsville.
Working quickly and getting ahead of the Kahoks hitters throughout, Trapp threw only 91 pitches as he battled Collinsville starter Kyle Moore to a draw for seven innings.
But with Moore reaching his pitch limit, Collinsville coach Ryan Warnecke went with reliever Garrett Morske to start the bottom of the eighth
Morski didn’t last long. West sophomore Connor Adams led off with a double and scored five pitches later when Bernard lashed his game-winning single.
“It’s a big win. But they are all big. It’s a conference game, and obviously that’s something we stress,” West coach Todd Baltz said. “We want to be competitive in our conference, because you know how it is, to be able to get our of our regional and even our sectional, you’ve got to be able to beat the teams in the league.”
And thanks in a large part to the performance of Trapp, the Maroons improve to 4-2 in the SWC, two games behind Edwardsvile. West (16-3) will play at Edwardsville on Tuesday, then will host the Tigers on Thursday.
The Maroons broke a 1-1 tie in the third inning on an RBI single by Logan Weaver, then increased the lead to 3-1 with another run in the fifth.
“I’ve always worked quickly when I pitch. I feel like it helps me,” Trapp said. “Today, I had a good curveball, and I was able to get quite a few ground-ball outs. The defense made the plays behind me.”
Collinsville (8-10, 1-6), which stole eight bases on Friday, used its speed to tie the game in the sixth inning. With one out, Ty Williams reached on a fielders, stole second base and scored on a single by Spencer Vlasak.
Vlasak then stole second base and scored seconds later to tie the score at 3.
“”We have some speed on this team, and when we get the opportunity to use the running game, we’re going to do it. I believe that when you are able to steal some bases, it puts pressure on the opposing team’s defense and forces them into mistakes,” Collinsville coach Ryan Warnecke said. “But you have to be able to get on base to do that. You can’t steal first base.”
Trapp recovered from the Kahoks’ sixth-inning rally, retiring the final six hitters he faced.