Despite losing 9-5 to Elgin on Saturday in the championship game of the Illinois American Legion Baseball state tournament, the Metro East Bears’ season is far from over.
The Bears (27-8) have a spot locked up at the Great Lakes Regional Tournament that begins Wednesday as host team of the event, which is being played at Hopkins Field inside Gordon Moore Park in Alton. The tourney opens Wednesday, with the Bears set to take on the Indiana state champ at 7 p.m.
The Bears advanced to the championship on Drake Hampton’s RBI double in the 10th inning Friday that gave them a 6-5 victory over Northwest. It was the fifth hit of the day for Hampton as Missouri State shortstop recruit Jordan Hovey from Edwardsville got the win with 2 1/3 innings of relief.
At the Junior Legion State Tournament in Quincy, Breese Gray knocked off Quincy 12-0 and Newton 4-3 to reach the state championship game with a 4-0 mark in the tourney.
Breese Gray will face Swansea-Fairview Heights, which beat host Quincy 5-4 in nine innings Saturday, for the state title at 9 a.m. Sunday in Quincy.