The Cranbrook Bandits in action during the 2016 season.

The Cranbrook Bandits in action during the 2016 season.

Cranbrook Bandits move up to ‘A’ conference

Local Montana American Legion baseball team rise to higher division will mean more home games, creation of secondary 'B' team.

The Cranbrook Bandits baseball team will be competing at a new level for the 2017 season, as they have made the jump from being a Montana ‘B’ American Legion Baseball team to a single ‘A’ club.

Last year, the Bandits finished their season with a 22-21-1 record at the ‘B’ level, the best mark the team has put up in the 10 years since head coach Paul Mrazek took the reins of the program.

The team also made the 2015 Montana State ‘B’ championship after winning in 2014, success which helped the team advance to a higher level this season.

According to Mrazek, as a result of growing interest in trying out for the Bandits over the past three years and with the move up to the ‘A’ league, the program will be adding a second team to play in the ‘B’ conference for the 2017 season.

The ‘B’ team will be comprised of players from age 14 to 17, while the ‘A’ team will feature top-tier players up to the age of 19.

Mrazek is excited about the developments in the program and said that the jump to another conference and the additional team will mean more home games for Cranbrook baseball fans.

The team will be hosting a tournament this season from May 26-28 which will feature competition from Lethbridge, Calgary, and Polson, Montana, and on June 3 the team will have a Bandits alumni game against the ‘A’ team.

Tryouts for the Bandits begin on May 1 and the team will be selected by May 8 when practices and games will begin. Players interested in being a part of the program are invited to attend a player/parent meeting on Thursday, March 16 at the College of the Rockies Cranbrook campus.

Alumni interested in playing in the June 3 game and any players looking for additional information on the Bandits program should contact Paul Mrazek by email at yanzek@shaw.ca.