Bandits sweep weekend series against Medicine Hat
The Bandits saved the best for last.
The team won their final three games on their home field at Confederation Park this weekend, completing a sweep over the Medicine Hat Majestics.
“Wen needed to start hitting the ball a bit better, we didn’t have that many hits yesterday [Saturday], but today, we really started hitting the ball better,” said head coach Paul Mrazek.
“A lot line shots, but because of the wind, they turned into easy fly balls, but our kids are starting to hit on the ground and on a line again.”
Those hits translated into runs, as the Bandits outscored their opponents 18-7 over the three games.
Though the team had a commanding 9-3 lead already on Sunday afternoon, Devon Marra hit a home run in the sixth inning as the Bandits romped to a 10-3 win.
“We just wanted to get the game over with, get one more run and get out of here,” said Marra. “But we couldn’t really do it till the last inning.”
Marra was a dual threat on the mound as well, throwing two strikeouts and two walks in four innings. Daniel Mercandelli came in relief, pitching one walk and giving up only one run.
The bats went to work, with 11 hits at the plate. Robert Nickell, Cedar Kemp and Marra all had a pair of RBI’s, while Tyler Thorn, Brandon Ouilette and Caden McCormack had RBI singles.
Connor Armstrong scored first after stealing second base, Ouilette came home on a sacrifice fly, and Marra made it across home plate after a hit from Kemp.
Armstrong scored again in the fourth, and the Bandits went up 9-0 after the fourth inning.
Holding the Majestics scoreless for four innings was a direct result of strong defensive teamwork.
“We’re making the routine plays,” said Mrazek. “We were getting lots of ground balls, getting lots of fly balls and making the routine plays.”
With the bases loaded in the fifth, Medicine Hat finally scored when Marra walked a batter. The Majestics added another run by the end of the inning.
Mercandelli hit the mound in the sixth, and Medicine Hat got their final run of the game on a sacrifice fly.
It was the largest margin of victory all weekend, as the team made a comeback earlier in the day to win 5-4. The Bandits kicked off the series on Saturday with a 3-0 win.
The Majestics found themselves up 4-1 after the fourth inning, but the Bandits scored in the sixth and added three runs in the seventh to complete the comeback.
Noah Renette pitched three innings, while Tyler Thorn and Cedar Kemp both handled two each. Collectively, they allowed six hits with four walks and one strikeout.
Cranbrook initially had the lead after Marra scored on a sacrifice fly from Kemp, but the Majestics came back, earning four runs in two consecutive innings.
Marra scored again in the sixth to make it a two-run deficit, and the Bandits came up big in the final inning. Armstrong, McCormack and Ouilette all came home to edge out the win.
The Bandits opened their set with a 3-0 win on Saturday afternoon. Armstrong and McCormack opened the scoring in the third inning, as both stole home base to go up 2-0. Jake Bromley hit an RBI single to score Kemp in the sixth inning to seal up the win.
Armstrong pitched six innings, throwing four strikeouts and four walks, allowing five hits without any runs. Marra came in for relief for one inning.
“It was good to start yesterday [Saturday] with Connor Armstrong on the mound,” said Mrazek. “He hadn’t been with us for a couple weeks, so it was good to get him on the mound before we head down to Hamilton for the districts.”