The Bandits got off to a fast start, beating Valley Oak 8-2 thanks to one-hit shutout pitching by Tyler Toland, Chris Wilson and Amaury Reed. The Bandits punished Windsor 13-0. Nile Earl, Jordan Chriss, Gary Skym and Dylan Mathers each contributed on the mound.
The Bandits entered day two as the No. 1 seed, but after a disappointing loss to the Amigos 6-1, the Bandits found themselves the No. 4 seed after pool play. Because of the loss, the Bandits were to face the top seed, Bret’s Muckdogs from Reno.
The Bandits jumped on the Muckdogs early when leadoff Skylynd Rios smashed a triple down the right field line, catalyzing a four-run first inning. The score was 4-3 in favor of the Bandits when the game was broken wide open on a huge rally in which the Bandits hung seven on the Muckdogs to take a lead of 11-4. The semifinal game was ended in the fourth inning due to the 10-run mercy rule. Final score: 14-4 Bandits.
The Bandits headed into the championship game on a roll and kept it going by taking a 5-2 lead on the Nor Cal Titans after one inning. All five runs were scored with two outs on hits by Reed, Earl, JT Blevins, Chriss and Walden.
But Titans took advantage of Bandit mistakes and hit the ball well. The lead evaporated and the Titans walked away champions, beating the Bandits 11-6.
According to Coach Gabriel Rios, it was a productive tournament for the boys. “Every player – one through 12 – contributed in one way or another during the tournament, and that’s the first time we could say that. We’re really looking forward to getting back to work and correcting what went wrong and building on what we did right.”
Spearheading the Bandits offensively was leadoff batter Skylynd Rios, who went 8-12 with three doubles, one triple, 15 stolen bases and eight runs scored. Defensively, the Bandits were led by Brodie Garner, who threw out six runners and minimized pass balls. On the mound, Jordan Chriss, Chris Wilson and Amaury Reed each pitched six total innings, followed by Nile Earl and Tyler Toland with three apiece.
– Contributed by Tonja Marsh