Big hits, kicks and jumps
Belleville West junior pitcher Joey Kossina didn’t quite attain perfection as his older brother Cal Kossina did three years ago, but on Tuesday he came close.
A mainstay on a deep Maroons staff, Kossina pitched a no-hitter as West (11-2) blanked Granite City 6-0 in a non-conference game played at Granite City High School.
Kossina (2-1) walked three and struck out three in the complete-game effort while lowering his ERA to 2.39 for the year.
The no-hitter was the first by a Maroons pitcher since Cal Kossina pitched a five-inning perfect game on May 19, 2016 in an 11-0 win over Granite City.
“Joey was in command throughout the game. He threw all of his pitches for strikes, got ahead of the hitters and he didn’t try to strike everybody out,’’ West coach Todd Baltz said. “There wasn’t a lot of hard contact made against him. There was one ball hit hard to shortstop, but the defense made plays behind him.’’
Kossina also enjoyed a good night at the plate with two hits. Colin Shea led the Maroons 10-hit attack, going 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI.
“We’re off to a good start (11-2), but there is still a long way to go,’’ Baltz said. “We’ve still got work to do and we need to clean some things up. We had the bases loaded tonight and didn’t score. We’ve got to get better in all areas.’’
The Maroons next face Triad in Troy Thursday, then travel to Parkway South for a Saturday double header. West gets back to conference play Tuesday at Collinsville.