On Sunday May 23rd, the Rancho Murieta Bandits hit the road once again for their fifth game of the season. The hometown favorites relied on strong and steady hurling to remain undefeated with a 9-3 victory over the Ione Preston Nine (1-3).
The Bandits jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but the Nine halved it in the bottom of the first frame. Both teams loaded the bases over the next few innings (the Nine once, the Bandits twice), but effective hurling and consistent defense from both squads left it a "vintage low scoring affair."
Although the Nine hit cleanly nine times over seven innings, the boys in the box induced many ground balls to record timely hands (outs). Starting hurler Jonathan “Junk Yard Dog” Aberle went four strong frames, allowing only one unearned run on 6 hits. He (and his bender) got out of jams by recording 7 strike outs. “Junk Yard” also helped his cause with a 2x3 day in the striker box, scoring one run and driving in another. Rumor has it he may have also stolen a base.
Matt “Splint” Corsaut had yet another fine day at the plate (3x3 and 2 doubles), and muffin, Darrin "Cookie" Kitchen, kept pace with a hot 2x2 day (2B, 2 R, RBI, SB). Todd "Nellie" Dilbeck, fresh off his season ending injury last year, also wrestled his way to a 2x3 day (2B, RBI).
Although the Bandits appeared to be in control of the game most of the way, leads of two and three were often challenged throughout the game. But the Bandits dealt a final blow in the sixth, ending the scoring with a two out rally on “back to back to back” doubles from "Splint" Corsaut, "Cookie" Kitchen, and Blake "Calaboose" Carmichael.
With one week off for Memorial Day, the undefeated Bandits (5-0) return to the friendly confines of Stonehouse Field II on Sunday June 6th. They will be tested by the strong but reeling Amador County Crushers (2-2), who are trying to regain their championship form. Come on out to the park and enjoy a game where your neighbors turn back the clock to a time when gentleman play the gentleman’s game!
Barbeque will be available from volunteers of Relay for Life. All proceeds benefit cancer research, treatment, and support!