Bandits eyeing fall ball season

Head coach Paul Mrazek wants to keep his players busy into October with more games against teams out of Montana.

While the summer season has ended, the Rocky Mountain Bandits are eyeing up some action in the fall.

Head coach Paul Mrazek has been working the phones, chatting with teams in the Montana league that they competed in, and is lining up a five- to six-week schedule to get his young squad some action.

“Fall program will consist of five or six weeks, practicing twice a week, hopefully games on Saturdays and Sundays—both doubleheaders,” said Mrazek. “Depending on the number of teams that want to play us, we’re looking at hosting a tournament in October.

“Kalispell and Whitefish have both responded and said they’re in, so it’s just going to be a small, four-man tournament. We don’t have lights and the days are getting shorter then, but we can do a four-man tournament, which will be good for the program and good for the community to see some good baseball.”

While the team had a couple rookies in the dugout, there was also a rookie on the coaching staff, as former player Jordan Torgerson stepped up to help out Mrazek and fellow assistant Jordan Armstrong.

Torgerson was helping out with the high school team, along with Mrazek, and getting involved with the Bandits was simply an extension of that.

“We started talking a little more and he liked where my head was at, so we kind of worked together a bit for the high school team and it evolved into me helping out with the Bandits,” said Torgerson.

After finishing with the Bandits a few years ago, Torgerson headed to Prairie Baseball Academy in Lethbridge and played a year of college baseball.

After returning home, he decided he wanted to get involved and give back to baseball in the community.

“Playing here, I did quite a few years, so coming back to coach, it meant a lot to me,” said Torgerson. “It’s a big part of your life, growing up and playing it, so it’s fun to be able to come back and take what I’ve learned and put back into it.”

He also got a vote of confidence from his head coach.

“He did fine, he did very well,” said Mrazek. “He’s good with the kids, he explains things well. He understands what I want as head coach and how I want things taught. For me it’s basic fundamental baseball and mechanics, and he understands that.”

Torgerson was able to step right in alongside Mrazek and fellow assistant Armstrong, who’s been with the team for three seasons.

It’s different standing on the field as a coach, rather than as a player, said Torgerson.

“I found it really hard to get the kids to do what I had pictured them to do. It’s easy to go out and do something, but to get someone to do what you actually want them to do—I really had a hard time with that,” Torgerson said.

“So to be able to explain to a younger man how to get him to do what you want him to do, that’s what I found was the hardest part.”