The stage was set on June 6th for a classic showdown between the first place Rancho Murieta Bandits (6-0) and the two-time League Champion Amador County Crushers (2-4). The teams were accustomed to playing tight contests, with 5 of the last 6 games settled by 2 runs or fewer. But the Bandit bats settled things early, and the result was a 15-0 rout of the former champions.
The Crushers won the bat toss and elected to play the home side of the match. No matter, the Bandits jumped out of the box for 6 runs in the top half of the opening frame. The first three Bandit strikers, including lead-off striker Greg “Bacon” Jorgensen (2R, SB) reached safely on clean hits. A two out rally with clutch hitting from Terry “T-Bone” Conway (1-3, R, SB), Blake “Calaboose” Carmichael (3RBI, SB), and Jonathan “Junk Yard Dog” Aberle (2B, RBI) accounted for four runs, and the Bandits never looked back. Standout performances from the striker box were recorded by Scott “Leather” Oltmanns (4-4, 3RBI, 2R, 3 2B) and Matt “Splint” Corsaut (3-4, 2B, 3RBI, 2R).
Despite the multiple tallies recorded by the Bandits, hurlers “Splint” Corsaut and “Junk Yard” Aberle needed only one run of support to seal the deal. The Crusher lead off striker got a hit on “Splint” Corsaut’s first offering, but the Crushers only garnered two more hits off of “Splint’s” deception and quick pitching. In the sixth frame, “Junk Yard” Aberle took command, and befuddled the opposition with his bender. All told, only 24 Crushers came to the line (3 more than the minimum), and the second clean sheet was recorded on the season!
All morning long, the Bandit scouts (outfielders) and tenders (infielders) played extremely tight defense, which has become a staple of the Bandit’s success. In addition to the confident play from all, there were flashes of brilliance that kept the Crushers from crossing the plate. Remarkable plays included a diving fly ball out from Todd “Nellie” Dilbeck. Two diving grabs from behinds (catchers) “Leather” Oltmanns, and “Calaboose” Carmichael deflated potential Crusher rallies. The final hand (out) recorded in the game, an over the shoulder, diving grab from 2nd tender, Todd “Penny” Pennington was emblematic of the Bandit defensive effort.
The Bandits play their next game against the Mother Lode Miners (1-4) at 10:00 AM on Sunday June 20 (Rancho Murieta, Stonehouse Field II). The Miners are looking to gain some momentum off of their first win this past week, while the Bandits try to keep their winning streak alive. The afternoon game features the Ione Preston Nine, taking on the defending champion, Sierra Highlanders, as they continue their push to catch the first place Bandits. Come on out to support the local boys of summer!