Bandits off to final touranment

Cranbrook team heads to Montana for district playoffs.

It’s the last hurrah for the Cranbrook Bandits this week as they head to Montana for the district tournament which will wrap up their American Legion baseball season.

It’s a 12-team tournament that determines the best ‘B’ division squad in the state.

Over the season, the Bandits have played pretty much every team they’re potentially facing and know just how tough it will be over the four-day event.

“It should be a good tournament,” said 2nd baseman Jake Bromley. “We can compete with most of the teams so we played almost all of them and we know we can beat them.”

The team is coming off a weekend series against the Medicine Hat Majestics, sweeping the three game set with a trio of wins.

Bromley said those victories boosted the team’s confidence.

“It’s good going into it, because if you went in with three losses, everybody would be down for the week, but everyone is up, they just want to get going, so everyone’s really excited,” he added.

Over those three games, the Bandits went to work at the plate with 22 hits, scoring 18 runs.

“The last few weeks we’ve been really getting into hitting again,” said Bromley. “We had a slump and now we’re back at it. Our defence has been spot-on the last week or so, so I think we’ll go in pretty strong.”

Bandits head coach Paul Mrazek concurred, noting the team has improved on the defensive side of the game, especially the younger players.

“Some of the younger kids who are in their first year are getting more comfortable in their spots,” Mrazek said. “They know they need to make the routine plays and we’ve been getting a lot of reps in the last week, so they’re looking more comfortable out there and they’re moving to the ball properly now.

“They’re getting there and looking a lot smoother, and their footwork and their throws and their gloves are a lot better than they were three weeks ago.”