NEW BADEN — Hitting was the name of the game Wednesday for the Metro East Bears.
They struck for 14 hits and routed Olney, 11-1, in a seven-inning Senior Legion baseball game here in the Fifth Division Tournament.
The top-seeded Bears, now 24-6, play District 22 rival Fairview Heights at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in the weeklong tournament. They are the only two unbeaten teams remaining in the double elimination tournament. Action will continue Friday and possibly Saturday, with the winner going on to the state finals in Arlington Heights.
Metro East has already beaten Fairview three times this season, outscoring them 15-2 along the way. And Bears’ pitcher Tommy Flack, who owns two of those victories, is expected to get the ball in today’s pivotal game. The winner will get a date in the championship game, while the loser will have to go through the losers bracket.
Kyle Zach blasted a three-run home run and drove in five runs to send the Bears past Olney. Jordan Briggs added three hits to back winning pitcher Casey Fair, now 5-1. Olney dropped to 10-12.
Briggs went 3-for-3 with a double and Zach was 2-for-4 with a double and his first home run of the season. Teammate Austin Stilts was 1-for-2, reached base three times and scored twice.
Fair gave up seven hits in a complete-game effort. He struck out seven and walked one. The Bears have had two complete games in their first two Fifth Division outings. It was Fair’s first appearance since working in the Fourth of July Firecracker Tournament at Moore Park.