Bandits win 2012 California Cup!
August 4 and 5, 2012
Washington Park - Santa Clara, CA
The Rancho Murieta Bandits packed their covered wagons, and traveled to the Bay Area for another chance at taking the vintage base ball title, and earning the coveted California Cup. Falling just short in San Francisco in 2011, the Bandits hoped to find better fortunes further south in Santa Clara.
In day one of the tournament, the Bandits squared off against the Bay Area Vintage Base Ball champion, Oakland Colonels. The Bandits struck quickly with a triple by behind (catcher) Scott “Leather” Oltmanns (2x4, 3B, 2 RBI). He was later driven in by team batting leader Darrin “Cookie” Kitchen (1x3, 2B, RBI). The match remained tight through three frames, but hurling from starting pitcher Matt “Splint” Corsaut, limited the strong Colonel bats to only one run across five innings. The Bandit offense came alive in the 4th and 5th, led by power hitter Colby “Cheddar” Craig (3x4, 2B, R) and right scout (outfielder) Brad “Bull” Brozaitis (2x4, 3R, RBI). With a 9-1 advantage, excellent relief efforts were garnered from Cable “Falco” Davis and Chris Ross “Apple Sauce.” The Colonels were unable to mount a comeback, and the Bandits came away with a solid 13-3 semi-final victory.
In the other day one affair, the California Vintage Base Ball Federation champion, Santa Clara Stogies, took out the Amador County Crushers on a tally of 11-3. With that high mark, the Stogie bats were ready to challenge the Bandit hurlers and traditionally strong defense. The anticipated game proved to live up to its billing, as the two former champions played a tight and entertaining match.
On day two, it was again the Bandits who stormed out of the gate. Taking advantage of two Stogie miscues, the Bandits strung together hits to bring across two aces (runs) in the bottom of the first. The second frame proved to be even more lucrative, as three tallies were made, and the Bandits were off to a commanding 5-0 lead, thanks in large part to the steady hitting from “Cheddar” Craig and Terry “T-Bone” Conway (2x2, RBI).
Hurler Matt “Splint” Corsaut gritted out another five quality innings (10 over two days), and yielded only one ace for the Stogies. “Splint” Corsaut’s vintage hurling style mixed quick pitches and a varying arm action, was baffling at times. In addition, defensive prowess was the norm for left scout (outfield) Todd “Penny” Pennington, who ranged for many balls that others could never reach. Middle tenders (short stop), Greg “Bacon” Jorgensen, and (second base) Blake “Calaboose” locked down the middle of the infield with reliable glove work. Corner tenders, (first base) Cable “Falco” Davis and Mark “Manley” Walthers were dialed in, letting nothing by, despite wearing non-webbed gloves, more appropriate for working on the ranch than catching a base ball. “Cheddar” Craig similarly showed vintage ginger, diving and tossing the ball from his knees for some incredible “hands” (outs).
But the Stogies would not go quietly. They chipped away at a tiring “Splint” Corsaut, and tallied a run in the fifth. “Falco” Davis was called upon for relief in the sixth, and the top of the Stogie order quickly pounced with a double and a single. Despite inducing three consecutive ground balls, the Stogies managed to tally 2 aces in the sixth, and the Bandit lead shrunk to 5-3.
The score remained the same when the Bandits took to the field in the 7th and final frame; needing three hands to earn a second California Cup. “Falco” Davis did not disappoint from the hurler’s box, striking out the fist Stogie batter. A line drive was hauled in for the second hand, but a two-out rally seemed imminent when a single was driven to left. However, a dancing pop-fly was hauled in by second tender, “Calaboose” Carmichael, and the California Cup was headed back to Rancho Murieta!
Photographic images from the weekend will be posted soon. Thank you to all of our families, and the reliable cranks (fans), who have supported the team this year! Without you, this game would not be as enjoyable. HUZZAH!