Belleville West’s Jack Lanxon, a senior left-hander, threw six innings and struck out 10 on Thursday as the Maroons defeated the Granite City Warriors 7-2 in a Southwestern Conference game.
The win came just two days after Lanxon’s seventh-inning double scored the winning run in West’s 3-2 victory over O’Fallon, ending the Panthers’ 16-game winning streak.
“I could spot my fastball pretty well today, and I worked my curveball in pretty well, too,” Lanxon (5-0, 2.33 ERA) said after limiting the Warriors to four hits in six innings. “The changeup, they were able to hit that a little bit, so I tried to stay away from that. But my fastball and curveball worked pretty well.”
The Maroons, who put away the game with a four-run fifth after Granite City had rallied to within 3-2, improved to 13-6 overall and 7-0 in the SWC. The Warriors are 6-11 and 3-4.
Four of Lanxon’s strikeouts came in the fourth. He was forced to face an extra hitter after sophomore Clayton Miller fanned but reached first on Lanxon’s wild pitch.
“He pitched well,” said Maroons coach Todd Baltz, whose team has won eight in a row since losing to Salem on April 1. “I don’t think he was as sharp as he has been, but he battled and did a lot of good things. When he needed the strikeout, he seemed to get it. It’s pretty rare to strike out four in an inning, but we’ve seen some rare things this year.”
Two errors led to two unearned runs for West in the first against Granite City junior right-hander Tyler Wheatley (2-3). Senior Logan Betz and junior Tyler Adams had RBI single.
An infield out stretched the Maroons’ lead to 3-0 in the third, but Granite City made it 3-2 in the fifth on sophomore Austin Bonvicino’s double and senior Matt Woods’ infield out.
The Maroons, however, answered with four runs in their half of the inning, with the big hit being a two-run triple by senior Ty Shylanski.
“We battled back and had the tying run on third,” Granite City coach Scott Smallie said. “But we couldn’t get that lockdown inning and come back in and hit again.”
Lanxon added a double for West, while Betz had a pair of singles. Shylanski, Adams, senior Buddy Gore and juniors Nick Westerheide and Hunter Grupe had one hit apiece.
Bonvicino had a pair of doubles for Granite City. Sophomore Cade Bartling had a double and senior Jacob Grayson and sophomore Cameron Hibbets each had one hit.
Junior Chad Sauls worked a scoreless seventh for the Maroons.