After having their initially scheduled home-opener rained out May 21, the Cranbrook Bandits (4-3-0) were finally able to take to the diamond at Confederation Park this past Saturday, scoring a pair of victories in American Legion Baseball doubleheader action against the Libby Loggers.
The took the opening game of the matinee affair by a 7-3 final, before edging the Loggers 11-10 to close out the afternoon.
Sunday, the Bandits headed south of the border to Eureka, Mont., for a doubleheader with the Kootenai Valley Rangers. The two teams battled to a split of the doubleheader, with the Bandits claiming a 15-6 triumph in the first game before falling 9-1 in the back end.
Veteran left-handed pitcher Tyler Thorn tossed four innings off the mound in Saturday’s 7-3 win, striking out three batters while only allowing three hits and one earned run.
At the plate, outfielder Caden McCormack knocked in two runs with a single during the second inning to give the Bandits a 4-1 lead and all the offense required to take the opening game of the day.
Catcher Robert Nickell came across the plate three times to lead the Bandits, as he went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks.
Erik Lauer was saddled with the loss for the Loggers, as he was chased following 3.2 innings of action, surrendering five runs (two earned), five walks and four hits.
In the backend of Saturday’s doubleheader in Cranbrook, the Bandits required extra innings to get past the Loggers, scoring an 11-10 victory in the bottom of the eighth inning courtesy a single knock from infielder Rylan D’Etcheverry that scored infielder Kei Chlopan from third base.
McCormick earned the win on the mound, going 2.1 innings with four strikeouts and no earned runs. The three-year veteran Bandits got it done at the dish as well, going 2-for-4, including a triple, three runs scored and one RBI.
Tim Carvey took the loss for the Loggers.
The Bandits put up a 9-1 lead by the end of the fifth inning before the Loggers blasted nine runs in the top of the sixth inning to pull ahead 10-9 before the hometown kids executed the comeback win.
Sunday afternoon, the Bandits made it three consecutive wins as the bats came alive in a 15-6 win over the Rangers.
McCormick, Noah Rennette, Nickell and Chlopan each scored three times, while McCormick tallied three hits as well.
Rookie Brandon Thorn earned the start and the victory, throwing three innings with three earned runs, one strikeout and one walk. Jake Bromley cleaned up over the final four innings, striking out six batters while allowing three earned runs.
James Dunn took the loss for the Rangers allowing six runs (four earned), five hits and walking four batters over three innings of work.
Wrapping a busy weekend, the Bandits fell 9-1 to the Rangers, as Mo Henderson cruised to a complete game performance, only allowing four hits and one run (zero earned), while striking out four.
After the Bandits opened the scoring courtesy a McCormick single that scored Nickell in the top of the first inning, the Rangers rolled, building a 3-1 lead by the bottom of the third inning before exploding for a five-run fifth inning.
Rennette took the loss on the mound, lasting 2.1 innings and giving up three earned runs off six hits and a walk.
Next up, the Bandits are slated to visit Trail (Saturday) and Spokane (Sunday) this weekend before returning home to host the Glacier Twins at Confederation Park on Saturday, June 11.