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Cranbrook Bandits battle it out in Montana

The junior and senior teams were successful south of the border going 2-2 and 3-0 respectively

The Cranbrook Bandits opened up their first weekend where they split into their junior and senior teams.

On May 11-12 the junior squad (17 and under) was in Ronan, Montana, where they split their four games on the road.

The senior team went south to Libby, Montana for a tournament and went 3-0 on the weekend.

“That was a very good start,” said Paul Mrazek, head coach of the senior team. “They went out and played very well.”

Mrazek, who was with the senior team says he was happy with the pitching and defence overall at the tournament.

“Those are the areas that we are focusing the most on throughout the season,” he explained. “We have hit a lot and we will continue to hit, but we did a lot of work in the fall and the winter. It looks like it’s paying off.”

LOOK BACK: Local ball team heads south for prestigious tournament

Mrazek has confidence in his team and hopes with the success at the tournament they will continue to have the confidence in themselves.

“I do expect that from them — more times than not. They know the expectations and we play in a tough league. We are going to be playing some tougher teams, but if they go out and play like that then we are going to be competitive,” he said.

Pitching and defence will continue to be worked on throughout the year, with an emphasis on base running.

“We hit the ball fairly well, but baserunning is a big focus this year. Our infield, a lot of ground ball work, to get better at that, and just more situational stuff in practice to be comfortable when it happens in the game,” said Mrazek.

The teams will have a busy weekend with the junior team playing at home for four games against the Bitterroot Red Sox. The teams will battle it out on May 18 at 2:30 p.m. and at 5 p.m. While on May 19 they will have another doubleheader at 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. for games.

The senior team will head to Kalispell, Montana for a three-day tournament on May 17-19.

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