By: Todd "Nellie" Dilbeck - Bandit Ballist and Scribe
This past weekend witnessed a spirited game of base ball by the Rancho Murieta Bandits. Clean defense on the field prevented the Crushers from rounding the bases more than twice; limiting the men in red to a meager two tallies on the day. Meanwhile, the Bandit strikers were able to earn seven tallies on the day, with three of the six innings at the plate having a multiple tally score (two in the first, two in the third, and three in the sixth).
Top strikers on the day were Bacon and Sauce, each of whom had three hits on the day, with Bacon scoring three of the day’s runs with expert running and a home run to finish his day. The rest of the line-up struggled with the Styx, the youthful Crusher hurler who hurled all six frames, but were able to seize opportunities to with hustle and wisdom on the base paths. Pyro set up Bacan’s homerun by wearing on the nerves of the Crusher hurler using a nine-pitch at-bat to earn a walk, then swiping second base with a clean steal, and taking third on a passed ball by the Crusher behind later in the inning. Three strikers later, Bullet was able to earn a visit to first base with a sharp fair hit. Immediately after came Bacon’s first homerun of the season to score three tallies in the Bandits last inning of hitting.
Bandit defense yet again proved to be the real strength of the squad. The field seemed to be covered with a blanket of maroon jerseys, as the Crushers averaged a meager four strikers to the line for each frame. Hurling duties were once again shared among several Bandits. Cheddar continued his streak of strong starts, providing three strong innings and allowing a lone tally in the third. T-bone and Leather shared the last three innings in relief, with two and one innings of appearance in order. It is likely no other tally would be scored but for an error in throwing during the fifth inning, which came around to score after controversy over the last hand out. Despite a spirited effort by the Bandits to encourage a favorable crank-call, the Crusher’s Sid was ruled safe at first base, beating a close throw by Sauce.
Boose once again provided expert play at behind, serving all innings protecting home plate. Outfield scout positions were played to perfection by Leather, Flounder, Sauce, and Pyro. Leather initiated perhaps the game’s greatest play by retrieving a fly ball on the bounce and throwing with marksmanship skill to make a force out at second base. Bacon quickly sent the ball to third, where Sauce completed the double-hand out with a tag of the incoming runner. More good play was witnessed as Cookie completed a strong performance at second tender with solid fielding skills.
The Bandits hitch their wagons, and head off to Amador for their next test against a hunger Mother Lode Miner squad. The contest is on Sunday May 3, with game time at Half Past High Noon (12:30PM) at Amador High School.