Photo by Caleb Motsinger
Ray Bailey (7) and Tommy Flack (13) walk into the dugout after Monday night's game at Lloyd Hopkins Field. Bailey and Flack have both come up big for the Bears this season, each earning Advantage News' Athlete of the Week honors.
ALTON — They started quickly and finished faster Monday.
So the Metro East Bears enjoyed a 10-0 win over Fairview Heights in a six-inning District 22 Legion baseball game at Moore Park.
Tommy Flack improved to 5-0 by scattering five hits in beating Fairview Heights for the second time this season. It was his second shutout. A four-run opening inning set the tone for the rout.
“He’s totally confident out there,” Bears’ manager Ken Schaake said of Flack. “He pitched a great game.”
The right-hander wriggled out of trouble a couple of times to preserve his shutout. He helped himself with a couple of good fielding plays. Third baseman Austin Stilts and shortstop Connor Melton also shined defensively.
“Those four runs in the first inning were big,” Schaake said. “We took advantage of some mistakes and our kids got going.”
Drew Curtis had two hits, including a two-run double in the first inning. Connor Melton had three hits and two RBIs. Stilts had two hits and Jacob Skrabacz chipped in with a two-run double and reached base three times.
“Those four runs in the first inning were a pretty big dagger,” Curtis said. “The chemistry of this team is getting better and we are communicating better.”
Metro East, now 16-3 and 9-0, is scheduled to play tonight at Belleville in a key league game. First pitch is set for 8 p.m. at Whitey Herzog Field. The Bears also welcome Belleville next Monday and play July 10 at Collinsville to compete their league log.
The District 22 All-Star game is slated for Tuesday, July 8, at GCS Ballpark in Sauget.
This weekend, the Bears will participate in the 15-team Firecracker Tournament, which runs July 4-6 at three venues. Metro East is in Pool A with Jerseyville, Bryant, Ark., St. Charles, Mo. and Eureka, Mo.
The Bears make their tourney debut at 10 a.m. Friday, against Bryant, Ark., at Hopkins Field.