Bandits win season finale, 3rd Season Title!
The Gold Country Vintage Base Ball season finale was staged at Stonehouse Park this Sunday. The hometown Bandits and rival Amador County Crushers were tied atop the standings. With the season series split, the championship would be determined based on “runs allowed" during the season. Entering the day, the clubs were only separated by one run, so the pressure was surely on the vintage gloved defenders.
In the opener, the Crushers took their game 14 – 9 over the Highlanders. That gave the Bandits a 7 run cushion headed into the final game of the year...
The Nine had other ideas in mind, starting off the first frame with two quick runs on solid hitting from the top of the line-up. The Bandit bats responded in kind, with three quick hits from Greg “Bacon” Jorgensen, Darrin “Cookie” Kitchen, and Scott “Leather” Oltmanns. The Bandits went up 3-2, and would not give up the lead, but still needed to keep The Nine off the board to take the league crown.
Starting hurler, Chris Ross "Apple Sauce" found himself in a bind in the second after a few uncharacteristic muffs by the defense. But Bandit ball returned, led by 3rd tender Colby "Cheddar" Craig and his diving, knee throwing plays, to cut off some runs in the early going. Even still, The Nine never gave in, and there were lots of balls hit solid all over the diamond.
After surrending one more run in the 3rd frame, Chris Ross “Apple Sauce” took command of the game, hurling all 7 frames. With rallies kept short, and punching out the final batter on three strikes, the final was 10-4, and the Bandits secured their 3rd title in as many years!
With the season title, the Bandits earned a third trip to the annual California Cup tournament, this year hosted by the California Vintage Base Ball Federation, held in Santa Clara, CA (August 4-5). Stay tuned for more details as they become available.
HUZZAH to all the faithful cranks who have supported the team over the years, and to the new cranks who are discovering what a great place this is to watch and play base ball...the way the game was meant to be played!