Belmont Bandits 9U baseball team
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Offensive Explosion propels Bandits to 2 wins
May. 1, 2017
The Belmont Bandits had some solid hitting all day long as a team, but we had a few guys that were hot as a match from an individual standpoint. We got rained out last weekend, and missed playing Sunday's games. We felt good about winning that tournament, and so we picked up two games as a one-day participant this weekend. Since we played only Sunday, we weren't eligible to win anything. We had a soccer game on Saturday, and we were able to pull out the win there so 3-0 on the weekend isn't too bad overall, but it sure would have been nice to play this full weekend.......
We played two very tough teams on Sunday. Both teams were scrappy, and battled us to the end. In game one on Sunday, we played the Coul Oak Express. They are just starting to play in Top Gun play right now, but they will be fine as they continue to play. They had an aggressive bunch at the plate, and came out swinging. We were the visitor all day long in our games, and after we put up three runs in the top of the first, they came back to chart three runs to match. They hit the ball all over the field, and looked very impressive in that first inning. We settled down a little bit, and ended up holding them to four runs over the next three innings and came away with a 23-7 win. They put the ball in play the whole day though, and were just a few plays away from making this a different game. We had some big days offensively. Zeke Pruitt lead our hitting going 4-4 (2 singles, 2 doubles) and scored four runs. Aydan Bradley also went 4-4 (3 singles, 1 double) and scored two runs. These guys were red hot at the plate, and helped propel us toward a win. Also having very good days at the plate were Carsten Green with 3-4 (1 single, 2 doubles, 3 runs scored), Landon King with 3-4 (3 singles, 2 runs scored), Dalton Skipper going 3-4 (3 singles and scoring 2 runs), Brody Crawford going 2-4 (1 double, 1 triple and scoring 2 runs) and Christopher Wurster going 2-3 (1 single, 1 double, scored 3 runs and got on base all three times out of three plate appearances). This was Skipper's finest offensive day of the year thus far, too; both Wurster and Skipper turned it on big time in this game.
Landon King came in to duel these tough hitters, and threw two innings while striking out four. He was our most effective pitcher in this game, and came in at a time we needed some stability from the mound. We did not play great defensively on the day whatsoever, so he continued to fight through some misplays we made and kept a cool head throughout. Signs of pitcher maturity are crucial if you want to continue to play that position, and Landon has made some big strides this year finding that balance of being hard nosed going for strikeouts sometimes, and letting the defense work behind you in other times. Really good pitching in both games for King on the day.
In game two, we played the GBG Copperheads. Again, we faced a free swinging team that puts the ball into play. We have a lot of respect for both teams we played, because they come ready to play baseball and try hard every at bat and play in the field. In this contest, we snared a 15-5 victory, but the game was close througout. Blake Hartness pitched a great game for us going three innings and getting two strikeouts. He threw a lot of strikes and gave us chances in the field, which is always good. Landon King came in to close it out with one solid inning of work, striking out two.
Offensively, we continued with a barrage of hits. Aydan Bradley was the star of this game. Not only did he get on base three times out of three plate appearances in this game, but he was 6-6 on the day. In this game in particular, he was 2-2, and that scoreline included a single, 2 runs scored, a hit by pitch and a huge Home Run. It was a doorbell shot....DING DONG!!!! He had seven plate appearances on the day, and got on base seven times. Aydan has had a steady incline with his offensive performance. Aydan listens intently, retains what he is told and has just continued to get better and better at the plate against much stiffer defensive competition and pitching than he saw last year in coach pitch baseball. What a phenomenal day for Aydan.
Patrick Blee also had a big day with 2-3 including 2 doubles....and one of those doubles was a "hustle" double. Sometimes baseball takes away and sometimes it giveth. Blee popped one up very short on the 3rd base side that neither the pitcher, catcher or 3rd baseman could get to quickly enough; so, it hit the ground, bounced high.....and looked to be rolling foul. Patrick motored around the bases, and Coach Blee at 1B kept him moving to second and by the time the ball stopped rolling it rested perfectly on the white line as Blee cruised into second base. Zeke Pruitt had a hot day at the plate as well going 2-2 (1 single, 1 double, HBP, BB and scored 2 runs) so he got on four times out of four plate appearances. On the day he got on eight times out of eight plate appearances!! That's a great day on offense. Blake Hartness helped himself at the plate while pitching very well as well, going 2-3 (2 singles, and scored 2 runs). He got on three times out of three plate appearances because he also reached base on an error. He got on base six times out of seven plate appearances on the day. Christopher Wurster also kept up his sneaky hot hitting going 2-3 with 2 doubles, and scored 2 runs. On the weekend, Wurster went 4-6 with three doubles. The coaches are very proud of his improvement this year! We had several guys have really strong days getting on base, and that helped get some big run totals on the board.
It was great to see so many in attendance for our games this weekend. Even though it was just play for play baseball, we like to do that. We like to test ourselves, compete and just play ball. We don't pick and choose the ones where we can win this or that, we just sign up to play when the schedule works for our parents, and we will continue to do so. We look forward to this weekend, as I'm sure it will be a big weekend tournament filled with very good teams.
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