EDWARDSVILLE - Jack Puente scored on an error by the shortstop on a grounder hit by Deon Harrington with the winning run in the top of the eighth to give Alton a big 4-3 win over Belleville West in the final of the IHSA Class 4A Alton regional Saturday morning at Roy E. Lee Field at the Simmons Baseball Complex on the campus of SIU-Edwardsville.

The game was originally scheduled for Redbirds Field in Alton, but moved to the all-turf field at SIUE, due to fears of stormy weather that would have made the grass field on Alton possibly unplayable.

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The Redbirds had taken a 3-1 lead in the top of the seventh, when Will Weirich reached on an error that scored Reid Murray. The Maroons tied the game in the home half and forced extra innings, when two runs scored on an error by the first baseman. Harrington also reached on the error that allowed Puente to score the winning run as Alton took the win and moved on to the sectional.

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Alex Siatos led the Redbirds with two hits and a RBI, with Chris Bristow having a hit and RBI, Murray, Austin Rathgeb, and Logan Bogard all had hits, and Weirich also had a RBI. Siatos pitched six strong innings, giving up a run on six hits, walking four and striking out six, while Rathgeb threw two innings to get the win, allowing two unearned runs on two hits, walking three and fanning three.

The Maroons season ends at 21-12, while Alton is now 20-16, and meet Edwardsville, who won their own regional 4-0 over O'Fallon, in the Illinois Wesleyan University sectional in Bloomington, with the Metro-East neutral site to be announced, the game set for Wednesday at 4 p.m. The winner will play in the final against the winner of Bradley-Bourbonnais, who won their own regional 6-2 over Plainfield Central, and Normal Community a 4-1 winner of their own regional over Rock Island, on Saturday at Jack Horenberger Field next Saturday, June 1, at 11 a.m.

Dan Brannan also contributed to this story.

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