HIGHLAND – The Metro East Bears completed a sweep of Highland on Tuesday in American Senior Legion District 22 baseball action.
The Bears posted an 8-1 victory to defeat Highland for the second time this season. Metro East, which won the first game, 2-0, in Alton last month, improved to 17-5 overall and 5-1 in District 22 competition. The Bears have two league games remaining, both against Fairview Heights. They are scheduled to play Fairview Heights at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night at Longacre Park.
Belleville beat Fairview Heights, 1-0, on Tuesday to stay tied with Metro East in the league standings. The Hilgards also have one district loss. They divided a pair of games with the Bears at Lloyd Hopkins Field in Gordon F. Moore Park.
In their latest win, the Bears struck early against Highland and Maverick McSparin pitched a complete game. He gave up five hits, struck out four and walked one.
A three-run first inning gave McSparin all the support he needed. The Bears also struck for three runs in the sixth. Overall, they benefited from nine walks and five stolen bases.
Aaron Jackson led the way, going 1-for-1 and reaching base four times. He had two RBIs and a pair of steals. Jordan Hovey was 1-for-3 with two RBIs. Drake Hampton added a double and Caleb Buhs drove in a run to back McSparin.
It was Metro East’s third consecutive victory. The Bears went 3-1 the past weekend in the fourth annual Southwest Illinois Firecracker Classic.
Evansville, Ind., won the tournament by downing three-time defending champion Bryant, Ark., 3-0, in the title game. Mount Vernon and Texarkana, Ark., also advanced to the semifinals. Mount Vernon won Pool A in Alton, thanks to its 4-3 win over the Bears last Friday.
Elsewhere Tuesday, Illinois defeated Missouri, 7-2 in the Junior Legion All-Star game at Sauget’s GCS Ballpark.