The Belleville West Maroons did it again on Monday.
The Maroons ended the Granite City Warriors' baseball season for the second straight year after winning 5-0 in a first-round Class 4A Granite City Regional game at Belleville West.
Belleville West scored a run in the third, two in the fourth and two in the fifth to improve to 17-17.
"It was another tough loss for us," Granite City coach Scott Smallie said. "The wind was blowing in crazy and we hit a hit a lot of fly balls and they caught them and they hit a couple underneath the wind and got past a couple of our outfielders and that was the difference in the game. It started out 0-0 through the third inning and they scratched one across and it held off eventually."
The Warriors finished their season at 10-24 overall and 2-12 in Southwestern Conference play. They started their season on March 20 with a doubleheader sweep over Alton Marquette and were 3-2 after their first five games. But after suffering a seven-game losing streak, Granite City never got back to the .500 mark.
"We didn't do anything particularly bad or wrong," Smallie said. "We couldn't get the big hit. We never put together a game where our pitching and defense and hitting all worked together. It seemed like our pitching was good, our defense wasn't, our hitting was good. Anyway you put it, we didn't put one of those big games together and put on a streak.
“The schedule we played is not an easy schedule by any means."
Granite City lost to Belleville West for the third time this season. The Warriors lost 13-0 on March 31 at Belleville West and 5-2 on April 30 at Granite City.
A year ago, the Maroons cruised to a 13-0 win over the Warriors in a first-round game of the Belleville East Regional at Belleville West. Belleville West went on to win the regional title.
With the win over Granite City on Monday, the Maroons prevented the Warriors from playing in the regional tournament on their home field. Belleville West will play top-seeded O'Fallon in the regional semifinals at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Babe Champion Field. Belleville East and Collinsville square off in the other regional semifinal on Wednesday.
The regional championship game is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday.
"We didn't play well enough all year to get an opportunity to play in our own regional," Smallie said. "We talked about it after the game. That's the second year in a row that we lost on that field to end the season. That's the way it goes sometimes."
Eleven Granite City seniors played their final high school baseball game on Monday. They were Stevie Hartline, Sam Dean, Justin Brummond, Carter Hall, Zack Hall, Alec Peterson, D.J. Miller, Aaron Bloomquist, Ryan Steen, Pete Krieshok and Bruce Drennan.
"Our seniors were a big part," Smallie said.
Drennan and sophomore B.J. Niesporek got the only hits for Granite City. The Warriors were shut out for the eighth time this season.
"We couldn't get that hit. It's kind of been our season all year," Smallie said. "We haven't been able to get that big hit to start a rally."
Belleville West junior Cal Kossina pitched a complete-game shutout, striking out five and walking none.