Cranbrook Bandits ‘B’ dominate in Calgary

Junior team wins all four games over weekend, continue string of fantastic offensive performances

The Cranbrook Bandits ‘B’ team have had no problem racking up runs so far this year.

In their second tournament of 2017, the U17 team went to Calgary and won all four of their games handily, outscoring their opponents a combined 75-29.

On Saturday, the team opened up their weekend by beating Calgary West 16-4, followed by an 11-8 victory over the Calgary Redbirds.

“We came out pretty hot [and our] bats were rolling,” said head coach Ryan Phillips-Clement. “We were running the bases really well once again. That’s one of our strong points I’ve noticed right off the bat.”

Phillips-Clement also credited the win, in large part, to pitcher Cam Reid.

“[Reid] is slowly becoming our ace,” he said. “That first game went really well for him. He was controlling the ball well, throwing a lot of strikes, had good command of his curveball and he took advantage of that.

“They were swinging and missing, so it was a really good outing from Cam [Reid].”

Against the Redbirds, the coach thought that his team could have made things a little easier on themselves, despite the eventual win.

“We probably could have scored a few extra runs that game, [but] we were swinging at a few pitches that we shouldn’t have,” Phillips-Clement said. “I’m always reminding the guys to be picky up there. You’ve got to find the ball that you really want to be swinging at and just hit it.

“But, overall, I was happy [with an] 11-8 win.”

On Sunday, the team locked in their focus to an even higher degree and beat Calgary West 25-5 and the Redbirds 23-12.

“I think the message started to sink in [and] we started being a lot more picky up there,” the coach said. “One notable player [on Sunday] was Braiden Koran.

“He had three triples, so he really was our slugger for the weekend. Everyone did their job equally well, but he was definitely the standout batter for us.”

Along with the U19 Bandits ‘A’ team, the ‘B’ team will also be competing at home, in the Bandits Wood Bat Invitational, from May 26-28 at Confederation Park.

It will be their last games before beginning their regular season play, which starts with an away game against the Mission Valley Mariners on June 4. In exhibition play, the team is 8-0 with an astonishing 135 total runs so far.

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