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Belmont Bandits 11U baseball team

 

Welcome to the Belmont Bandits baseball site. PLEASE click on a link for our sponsors and support these businesses. We appreciate their help!

 

 

Mar 25, 2019 - Gold Championship secured

It was a pretty weekend, and an ugly two games on Sunday - but the Bandits found a way to squeak by to capture another “American” Gold championship. Saturday games were a little better played, and we set ourselves up for a number one seed to begin Sunday games. We scored 37 runs, and allowed 4 on Saturday. We saved our sloppy play for Sunday, but managed to overcome a couple bad innings in the end. 

We defeated the Dubs team and LBC Hammerheads on day one. On day two, we showed our lack of practice by throwing the ball away a couple of times, and made some bad fielding decisions several times. The Carolina Cannons gave us a scare in game one of Sundays action, and after beating them we went on to defeat Legacy Baseball in the championship game. We won that game 14-7....and it was a roller coaster ride. We fell behind by four runs in the top of the first inning, but then found a way to get the tour bus back onto even pavement. We ended up finishing much stronger in the last few innings despite the old slow down tactics approach versus our team, and dominated the clap happy opponent after our initial terrible inning of play. I’m glad our boys came to play ball, and figured out a way to get rolling. We have a lot of work to do, and are not playing great baseball right now. That rough play will catch up to us soon, so we had better get our act together soon or else we will be fishing a whole lot more than we want to during this time of year.

Congrats to the boys on finding a way to win. But we have a lot of practice ahead of us.

Mar 20, 2019 - Easy come, Easy go

It comes and it goes. The Belmont Bandits are ranked #7 in the 247Travelball NC state rankings this week after our first full weekend of play - and that is great. The kids will love it- and beating the teams we won against is something to be proud of, which opened the door to this high ranking. But, baseball is a fickle lady. It is the most humbling sport on earth. You can be great one day, and a bum the next. While that website is really cool, we need to pay attention to what matters most in our baseball world. Focus on getting better at baseball while we are practicing and playing - just like we ask our kids to do their best in school, church, community.

We have not had a whole lot of time to practice this year, which is what we typically hang our hat on when entering these tournaments. We have had a few years of good skill development which we lean on for sure, but we need to really push to get better from the place we currrently reside. I'm not talking about polls either;  I'm talking about the things we work on in practice. We haven't done much small skill stuff this year, and are rough in a lot of areas. It is time to push, and really sharpen our edge as we enter a stretch run of condensed tournaments with solid to great compeition every weekend we play until July.

Our team is not made up of the best player in every town amongst three counties. We have to give a great effort in practice and games every time out....the Bandit way. The sun, the lights, the weather, the field conditions...none of that is an excuse we are allowed to use. Our boys are taught to find a way to change those elements. The pretenders will joke about it. The baseball players will find a way. We have steep hills to continuously climb to even be able to compete with some of these best teams in NC and SC that we will play regularly. In addition to that, we have upcoming regional dates in other states that will offer even more great competition. Now isn't the time for fishing. Now is the time for grinding. We need to win today at practice, and every day we spend time on baseball, to make sure we can give our best effort when the game is live. We really have not even started working hard yet - but we are about to.

Mar 18, 2019 - Bandits win state's toughest tournament to date

This weekend Top Gun proved to host the state's toughest baseball tournament and our Belmont Bandits participated in it. Twenty-three teams were in the 11u tournament as a whole, and the Bandits played in the 'American' division of the tournament which contained ten total teams within it.

It is early in the spring baseball season, but the Travelball247.com website has rankings based off of this past fall baseball and early spring baseball played. They have state wide rankings and regional rankings as well. It's not perfect science, but gives everyone an indication of how well teams are doing and is an informative and fun source to check into.

Coming into this tournament the Bandits were 1-0...having played only one game last weekend due to rainout. Many of the teams that were supposed to have played got pushed into this tournament because of rain, and so it became a "mega" tournament pretty quickly. Based off of Travelball247 Regional rankings of "Charlotte Metro", their website rankings prior to this weekend had the Bandits not ranked....which is fair because we did not play in the fall at all, and only had one game under our belt this spring. This weekend's tournament had the #2 (Canes Baseball NC - Slaydon), #4 (Copperheads Snell/Heis) and #5 (LKN Hurricanes) ranked teams in Charlotte Metro playing in the American division.

The overall state of NC rankings are also shown on Travelball247 and had another team that was in the top 20, the Carolina Spinners at #18. Coming into this tourny the NC state rankings showed to be: 

  1. SBA Futures (1)
  2. Canes Baseball NC - Gilchrist (2)
  3. West Raleigh Blue (3)
  4. Rawlings Prospects NC (4)
  5. Dirtbags Black (5)
  6. Canes Baseball NC - Slaydon (6)
  7. Dirtbags East (7)
  8. Carolina Havoc (9)
  9. Canes Baseball NC - Naylor (8)
  10. NCDB Rivercats (10)
  11. GRIT (11)
  12. Carolina Thunder (12)
  13. Athlete's Advantage Yardgoats (13)
  14. Akadema Heat (14)
  15. Copperheads - Snell/Heis (16)
  16. Carolina Titans - Ambrose (17)
  17. LKN Hurricanes (18)
  18. Carolina Spinners (19)
  19. Rock Solid Red (15)
  20. Alamance Patriots (20)

Also in the tournament was #8 overall team in the state of SC...the Team 24 Gamecocks - Bailey. They're always a tough competitor, and were in the mix this weekend as usual. We did not play the LKN Hurricanes or T24 groups because they were knocked out by a team we had to play along the trail to the championship. A newcomer, the Carolina Cannons, will be ranked before you know it. They are a solid bunch, as well.

The Bandits played four really strong teams, and came away with a 3-1 record on the weekend and captured the Gold Championship in the American division. We beat the #2, #4 and #18 teams in the current NC state rankings (those listed above). Anybody can beat anyone in baseball at any time, and we probably got lucky a whole lot. The kids have worked very hard though, so a lot of their sacrifice showed on the field which combined with some fortunate bounces made for a memorable weekend. One thing is for sure- it was a super tough weekend of play versus great 11u teams, and we are proud to have competed against such outstanding groups of athletes and coaches.

This weekend showed to be the toughest overall test available for 11u baseball competition in the state. You will never win them all in baseball, but we won most of them this weekend. Awesome job players, and many thanks to our fantastic support staff of parents, step parents, grand parents, siblings and other supporters. The kids got jumbo rings, but the confidence and pride won will ultimately be much more important than their "bling".

Go Bandits.

Jan 31, 2019 - Raffle, Sponsors & Volunteerism...baseball begins

Thanks to all those who participated in our raffle fundraiser. This raffle, along with our generous sponsors, are the crucial pieces to being able to allow our team to travel and compete against local, regional and national competition for zero cost to the parents. Our team and parents give back to our community in many ways, including frequenting area businesses that we can patronize and doing an annual work day down at the fields that Belmont Optimist has so graciously allowed us to use. Our partnership with that organization has been wonderful, and we repay the usage with constant upkeep and a couple of work days throughout the year.

Special thanks to Tait Triplett and Stateside Arms. Tait handled the raffle winner info and setup. Please contact him for any firearms needs you may have. He's born and bred right here in Belmont, NC and is a great fellow from an outstanding family. Our other sponsors also greatly contributed to our team being able to have such an eventful baseball schedule;  though very challenging, that is exactly what we are trying to continually show to our players. Special thanks to our high ticket selling players:  #1 Walker Spargo, #2 Mason Wells and #3 Christopher Wurster.  All these families are 100% Bandits and understand that what we do with our group is much greater than just players and coaches playing a youth sport. It has always been that way, and will continue to be what we make it as a group until we are done.

Charlotte Metro Credit Union continues to be a huge sponsor for our team. The people at this business are on board with our town in Belmont and youth activities. We are proud to speak highly of them being represented in our town, and I encourage anyone to go and experience the same kind of fantastic relationship we have come to know from dealing with them.

We have many important sponsors that contribute to helping our players and families on the team. These businsses and individuals are the types that you want your children involved with at this age, or part of as they grow older. Rita's Family Restaurant, West Harbor Insurance, Charlotte Import Trucks, Power Products & Solutions, Johnny B's, Steve and Sandy Hartness, Educational Services Unlimited (Tim & Judy Eldridge), Hannon Orthodontics and Doc's Basement are all part of our crew that we represent on the weekends while playing both locally and regionally.

Lastly, special thanks to our big winner from the raffle:  Harold Sutton. Harold participated in the drawing, and won the weapon when Big E (mascot) blindly drew his name out of the ball bucket Live on Facebook. It is on our Belmont Bandits 11U facebook site, and is linked below in this article as well if you want to check to see the transparency in which we determined the winner.  The second place winner name was drawn, and that was Dale Mosteller who took home the $50 cash prize. All winnings have been delivered and thank you again for the participation, sponsorship and support. We aim to make you proud representing those who support us and our community.

https://www.facebook.com/belmontbandits/videos/314113325897022/

 

Jan 27, 2019 - Bandits Work Day

Thank you very much for all those who participated in our recent annual 'Bandits work day'. We always have a plan to accomplish many things that need addressing, and this year we were able to complete a great deal in a small amount of time. The day was cold and dreary, so having over thirty volunteers on the day was a huge accomplishment in itself.

Thanks to all three Bandits teams, as every team was well represented. We have introduced some more dirt and a lot of sand onto field #2, and hopefully it will get to the stage field #1 is at after a few years of keeping it looked after. Most of the work focused on field #2, as we added a bullpen mound, re-dimensioned the bases and OF fence lines, moved and installed the OF fence, built a mound, re-surfaced the infield and cut a new edge into the infield. In addition to the fieldwork done, we also were able to put field turf down inside the batting cage, as well as the football concession area. The batting cage was re-strung and hung with the portable pitching mound set up for easy pitching or hitting practice. We will soon have a concrete ramp onto the concession area as well.

It was a very successful day, and my sincere thanks go out to our volunteers who did such a splendid job. Big Thanks to Craig Queen and First Foursquare Church for their help with the field turf. Also, another thanks goes out to John Bradley for being our liason with Duke Energy and having them attempt to address the well situation down at our fields. We appreciate their attention, and we hope we can get some water flowing down there soon. Lastly, thanks to Eric Wells and Wes Lathe for getting some heavy equipment down to the field so that we could more easily move dirt and turf - it was a huge help. We can't wait for baseball season. See ya'll at the field.

 

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