It took 10 innings, but the Metro East Bears have advanced to the American Legion Senior state finals in Wheaton.
Drake Hampton smacked a walk-off RBI double to lead the Bears past Northwest 6-5 in dramatic fashion. Anthony Kindle scored the winning run after walking and stealing second prior to Hampton's clutch hit.
With the win Metro East improved to 27-7 and will now face Elgin on Saturday in the state title tilt. The Bears will have to defeat undefeated Elgin twice to earn the state crown.
Hampton paced Metro East with five hits in the win. He also hit a RBI double in the seventh to draw the Bears even at 5-5 with Northwest.
Jordan Hovey garnered the win on the mound after entering in relief of starter Zac Cato. Cato gave up five runs, but only one earned in 7.2 innings of work.