Will Messer had a two-run single to highlight a six-run eighth inning outburst as the Metro East Bears defeated Danville 11-8 on Thursday at the American Legion Great Lakes Regional in Napoleon, Ohio.
The Bears (42-8), who defeated Danville twice last week in winning the state tournament in Rantoul, led 5-4 after seven innings. But with Messer delivering the big hit, the Bears sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six runs to break the game open.
Joel Quirin, Dylan Burris and Corey Price also drove in runs in the inning. The Bears clubbed 19 hits against three pitchers with Burris, Price and Blake Vandiver collecting four hits each. Five of the nine Bears starters had at least two hits.
Kade Burns was the winning pitcher, working 6 2/3 innings and allowing four runs and 11 hits. The win is the seventh straight for the Besrs who will play the winner of the Midland, Mich.-Eau Claire, Wis. game at 5:30 p.m. Friday.