The stakes were high on Sunday when the Rancho Murieta Bandits took on the defending GCVBB champion, Sierra Highlanders. The Highlanders’ high powered offense (39 tallies in two games) met the Bandits’ stout defense (surrendering only 5 runs over three contests). On this Sunday, it was the Bandits (4-0) who maintained form in a 16-4 rout of the Highlanders (2-1). Bandit hurlers distributed 7 hits across seven innings, while the Bandit bats garnered 18 hits.
In the opening frame, Greg “Bacon” Jorgenson led off with a single, only the start of his 3x5 day. Colby “Cheddar” Craig later knocked in the first run, one of his 4 RBIs. With a Bandit 1-0 lead, the bottom half of the inning displayed fine leather from the Bandit tenders (infielders), including a flashy double play from “Cheddar” to “Bacon” to Jonathan “Junk Yard Dog” Aberle.
The Bandits threatened again in the second, with a lead off double from Blake “Calaboose” Carmichael (2x4, 3 runs). Todd “Nellie” Dilbeck brought the run in, and the bases were soon loaded with one out. But a line drive turned into a double play, and the Bandits only managed to extend the lead 2-0. The Highlanders took back a tally in the bottom of the second, but the Bandits rolled yet another inning ending double play, “Calaboose” to “Bacon” to Mark “Manley” Walthers, which killed the Highlander rally.
The third frame was dominated by the Bandit sticks. Fifteen Bandit strikers came to the line, and pushed the score to 14-1. Starting hurler, Matt “Splint” Corsaut, added his second double of the day on his way to a perfect 4x4 day. “Junk Yard Dog” Aberle and Scott “Leather” Oltmanns (2x5) also made clutch two-out hits to drive in insurance runs.
After the offensive display, the Bandit defense continued to impress. Terry “T-Bone” Conway and Darrin “Cookie” Kitchen each recorded outfield assists at the plate, cutting off all Highlander hopes of a come-back. Bandit strikers continued to reach base, and the final Bandit tallies were scored off the bat of Bob “Bullet” Gignilliat, who also provided steady defense on the hot corner. A final push by the Highlanders in the bottom of the seventh came to a close when center scout “T-Bone” Conway threw a laser to “Leather” Oltmanns at home to record the final out, another double play!
Thanks and huge huzzahs to the growing number of cranks who are taking to the road to follow the local boys of summer. The Bandits play their next game against the Ione Preston Nine (1-2) at 12:30 PM on Sunday May 23rd (Amador High School). The Nine are looking to even the season series with the Bandits; being blanked 6-0 in the second week of the season, while the Bandits try to keep their winning season alive!
For more information, you can visit the league site at www.gcvbb.com or the Bandit “group” page here on ranchomurieta.com.