The Metro East Bears return to postseason play on Wednesday at the American Legion State Baseball Tournament in Rantoul.
Fresh off a 14-4 win over Highland on Friday in the title game of the Fifth Division Tournament, the Bears (36-8) will take on host Rantoul (10-22) beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the third of three first round games at Wabash Park.
First Division champion Arlington Heights faces Danville, which won the Fourth Division championship, in the opening game of the double-elimination tournament at 10:30 a.m. Second Division champion Barrington will take on Peoria at 2 p.m. Tournament play continues Thursday and Friday with the championship game scheduled for Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
If necessary, a second championship game would follow at 2 p.m.
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The Bears, who last qualified for the state finals in 2015, broke loose in the title game of the Fifth Division Tournament as they defeated Highland for fifth time in six games this season Blake Vandiver led a strong Bears offensive attack, going 4 for 4 with three RBI.
Highland, which won the Fifth Division title in 2016, forced a second title game on Friday, with an 8-7 win.
Junior Legion State Tournament
The American Legion Junior State Tournament begins on Thursday at Salem High School and at Kinmundy Lions Park.
First round games on Thursday at Salem will feature Salem playing Wheaton at 11 a.m. and Danville taking on Highland at 2 p.m. Games at Kinmundy Lions Park will be Breese against Moline at 11 a.m. and Mattoon playing Teutopolis at 2 p.m.
Games will continue at both sites on Friday. Games will continue at Salem High School on Saturday and Sunday. The title game is set for 11 a.m. on Sunday.