EDWARDSVILLE — First game, first victory.
The Metro East Bears started their American Senior Legion season on a winning note Tuesday.
They defeated Festus, Mo., 6-3 on SIUE’s Roy E. Lee Field at the John Simmons Baseball Complex. Festus fell to 6-1.
The visitors grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but the Bears responded with five runs in the third inning to make a winner out of reliever Brandon Hampton. Metro East Post 126/Post 199 backed him with a 13-hit attack.
Steven Pattan and Collin Clayton both contributed three hits to the Bears’ cause. Pattan went 3-for-3 and drove in two runs on a third-inning run. Steven Nguyen also hit a run-scoring double in that inning.
Teammates Cole Cimarolli and Hampton both collected two hits and Jacob Kanallakan stroked a two-run single in that big third inning. Metro East tacked on another run in the fourth, thanks to Drake Hampton’s RBI double.
Hampton pitched two innings, allowing one hit and striking out two. Starter Jacob St. Peters gave up two runs in the first, his only inning of work. However, four wild pitches hampered his effort. Following Hampton's work, Storm Coffman and Devin Colley then combined to limit Festus to one run over the next four innings.
Starting pitcher Andy Douglas absorbed the loss for Festus. Douglas was tagged for eight hits and five runs in three innings.
The Bears are back in action Thursday when they travel to Jerseyville for a 7 p.m. game on Ken Schell Field. Jerseyville is playing host to the state tournament in late July and Metro East welcomes the Great Lakes Regional beginning Aug. 3 at SIUE. The Bears finished second to Midland, Mich., in last year’s regional at Gordon F. Moore Park in Alton.