June 21, 2015
By: Todd "Nellie" Dilbeck
Bandits Remain Undefeated with Second Game Over 30 Tallies!
The Bandits of Rancho Murieta won for the ninth time this season, and scored over 30 tallies for the second time in 2015, with a 34-4 victory over the Preston Nine. Each striker came to the line at least six times, with each scoring multiple hits. Once again the Bandits relied on relief players due to personal matters for Cookie and Pyro. However, Blueberry and Pig Pen proved to be effective replacements with contributions at the plate and outstanding play as scouts. Both earned appreciation and recognition from the boys with difficult catches which required them to trap the ball against their chest to make critical hand-outs.
As has become the custom for the Bandits, defensive play in the field was the main reason for having success on the day. Once again, duties were shared throughout the game at most positions, with expert play being made by all. Only a single error was made on the day by the Bandits, who have made a concerted effort to improve their play as tenders and scouts. Similarly, the hurling was dominant with duties shared between Cheddar, Splint, Bacon, and Sauce. The opening two frames saw the Nine load the sacks with runners, however in each Cheddar was able to lockdown the threat and allow nary a tally. Bacon also impressed the players and cranks by striking out the side in the fifth frame.
The most productive strikers in the contest were Splint, Boose, and T-Bone. The former recorded six tallies on five hits, scoring each time he came to the line. Boose also collected five safe hits, and scored five tallies, demonstrating the classic swing that makes him such a tough out. T-Bone was perhaps the most impressive, hitting two four-base safe hits, with each clearing the outfield marker by 15 feet. Careful observers were able to witness his Mrs. dance and cheer as the crusty veteran circled the bags at the pace of a prancing steed.
Two other Brigadoons of Murieta recorded four-base hits. Cheddar maintained his consistent powerful swing, while Sauce brought the team to their feet with what is believed to be his first as a Bandit. Leather continues to work through his struggles at the plate with undaunted effort. He hit the ball hard all day, however was unlucky in two attempts with scouts of the Nine making solid plays to catch the ball for hand-outs. But because he refused to give in, Leather was able to reach base safely three times, contributing two tallies to the Bandit total. Likewise, Bullet proved why he is an unsung yet vital member of the squad with quality plays as third tender, two safe hits, and two tallies scored as a striker.
The best part of the day came at the team celebration following the game. Each of the Boys in Maroon was seen spending time with his own children who cheered on the dads for a superb Father’s Day. Despite playing a game for several hours, it is clear that the most important thing to each is their families, as each takes time immediately after the game to sit with their better halves and share a cold beverage, or by joining the kids in a brief game of catch or hit. In spirit of play, sportsmanship, brotherhood, and actions as fathers and husbands, the Bandits continue to present themselves as models of the Gold Country Vintage Base Ball League. Huzzah Boys!