Another weekend in the books for the Cranbrook Bandits and another split entered into the records.
Earning a pair of wins over the Mission Valley Mariners Saturday before falling twice to the Kootenai Valley Rangers Sunday, the Bandits now sit 9-8-1 on the season.
Originally slated to hit the diamond at Confederation Park in Cranbrook, Saturday’s doubleheader with the Mission Valley Mariners was moved south of the border to Polson, Mont., where the Bandits knocked off the host Mariners in consecutive outings.
In the opening game of the doubleheader, the Bandits used a four-run effort in the bottom of the fifth inning en route to an 8-5 victory.
Right-handed pitcher Connor Armstrong (2-1, 3.06 ERA) earned the win for the Bandits, throwing 6.1 innings and striking out two along the way while allowing two earned runs.
Armstrong (.234/.400/.340) got the job done of both sides of the ball in the opening game Saturday as he knocked a triple in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring Tyler Thorn and Rylan D’Etcheverry to put the Bandits ahead for good.
Right-handed reliever Jake Bromley (1-0, 9.45 ERA) came on late in the game, firing 0.2 innings and striking out one to earn the save.
In addition to Armstrong’s efforts at the dish, Cedar Kemp (.333/.442/.381) went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while Bromley also scored twice.
Starting pitcher Noah McDonald last two innings for the Mariners, but it was reliever Kade Schutzman saddled with the loss after giving up six earned runs on eight hits through four innings of work.
Continuing with the strong offensive output, the Bandits claimed an 11-10 victory over the Mariners in the back half of the doubleheader on Saturday.
Starting pitcher Tyler Thorn (1-1, 2.45 ERA) tossed four innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out seven batters in a no-decision.
Reliever Devon Marra (2-1, 0.58 ERA) took the mound for one inning, striking out one batter to earn the victory.
On the offensive side of the ball, Robert Nickell (.308/.550/.346) and Kemp each knocked in a pair of runs. Bromley, Carson Meggison and Brandon Ouillette each crossed home twice.
Kemp tallied the winning RBI, reaching first on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring Ouillette in the process.
Despite working less than an inning on the mound for the Mariners, reliever Zach Evertz was tagged with the loss, surrendering the unearned run to Ouillette.
After picking up two victories Saturday, the Bandits couldn’t maintain momentum in a Sunday afternoon doubleheader in Eureka against the Kootenai Valley Rangers.
The host Rangers took the opening game by a 7-4 margin, before spanking the Bandits 11-1 in the finale.
In the opening game of the doubleheader, the Rangers tallied all their offense in the first two innings of action, scoring twice in the first inning and adding five more runs in the second.
Rookie right-hander Shayne Walker (3-2, 3.14 ERA) started the game on the mound, lasting 1.1 innings. The Creston native gave up three hits and only two earned runs, but was on the mound for all seven runs against, taking the loss in the process.
Right-hander Rylan D’Etcheverrey (0-0, 0.00 ERA) finished out the game, going 4.2 innings and striking out five with no earned runs.
After falling behind 7-0, the Bandits crossed home twice in the top of the fifth inning to break the goose egg, adding two more runs in the top of the seventh before falling short in the comeback attempt.
James Dunn earned the victory for the Rangers, lasting 5.2 innings and striking out four while only allowing two earned runs.
In the backend of the doubleheader, the Rangers got in front of the Bandits early and didn’t look back.
After scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning, the Rangers added four runs apiece in the third and fourth innings to build a commanding 10-0 advantage.
Marra earned the start and was tagged with the loss, lasting two innings. Though he didn’t give up any earned runs, Marra was in the game long enough to see his team fall behind for good.
Carson Meggison (.188/.341/.188) scored the lone run for the Bandits who were unable to register a hit against Rangers’ starting pitcher Connor Harmon.
Harmon lasted all five innings and claimed the victory, walking one batter and striking out two with no earned runs.
The Bandits return home to Cranbrook this weekend with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon against the Libby Loggers.
The Bandits and Loggers have split two games to this point in the season. On May 31, the Loggers claimed a 10-0 victory in the opener of a doubleheader, before falling to the Bandits 9-3 in the back half.
Sunday, the Bandits host the Glacier Twins in another 1 p.m. doubleheader at Confederation Park.
The only meeting of the season between the Bandits and Twins ended in a 1-1 tie on May 30 as rain shut down the contest early.