The Belleville West baseball team earned the outright championship of the Southwestern Conference on Thursday with a 20-0 victory in five innings over East St. Louis.
The game was played at West, although the Flyers were the home team.
West (19-6, 13-0), which has won 14 straight games, scored five in the first, three in the second, four in the third and eight in the fifth. The Maroons pounded out 20 hits.
It’s the Maroons’ first conference title since 2013. They also won the league in 2007 and 2005, and shared the championship in 2006 with Edwardsville and O’Fallon.
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“It’s a nice little run we’ve been on, and we’re just trying to keep the momentum going,” Maroons coach Todd Baltz said. “Hopefully, we’ll carry it into the rest of the season and the postseason. I don’t think anyone picked us (to win the SWC). But we won the regional last year, and we had a little bit of confidence. We’ve put together a good season so far.”
The Maroons got two hits apiece from Tyler Adams, Hunter Grupe, Joey Kossina, Ty Shylanski and Dillon Sunnquist. Adams, Grupe, Kossina, Sunnquist, Eden Buss, Devin Hubbs and Jack Lanxon each drove in two runs. Grupe and Sunnquist had doubles; Shylanski had a triple.
Jake Jenkins picked up the win, working three innings and striking out five. Ryan Menzter pitched the final two innings and struck out three. East Side (3-13, 0-12) had just one hit.
West’s final league game will be at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday against visiting O’Fallon. The Maroons have never finished 14-0 in the conference.
“We talked about that a little bit (after the game),” Baltz said. “The guys were happy, but I think they would like to set that as another goal — to go undefeated in the conference. It’s something we’re wanting to do. We’ll see how it goes Tuesday.”