Will Messer clubbed a bases-clearing three run triple as part of a five run second inning as the Metro East Bears defeated Arlington Heights 8-1 on Thursday at the American Legion State Baseball Tournament in Rantoul.
The Bears (38-8) sent nine men to the plate in the second inning against Arlington Heights starting pitcher John Capinelli. Tate Wargo started the scoring with an RBI single and Messer followed with his triple which gave the Bears an early 4-0 lead.
Dylan Burris then drove in Messer with an RBI double to complete the Bears second inning outburst.
Bears starting pitcher Andrew Frank worked seven strong innings to get the win. Reliever Tyler Lewis gave up a run in the eighth inning.
Metro East will face Danville at 2 p.m. Friday for a a trip to Saturday’s state title game. Danville defeated Barrington 7-5 on Thursday.
The win moves the Bears into a showdown with the other undefeated team — Danville — on Friday at 2 p.m. at Wabash Park. Danville defeated Barrington 7-5 on Thursday.
Peoria will play Barrington at 10:30 a.m. The winner will play the loser of the Danville-Metro East Bears game at 5:30 p.m. with the winner advancing to the state title game.