A week after the Cranbrook Bandits opened the 2015 American Legion Baseball season in perfect fashion, they look to keep the streaking running as they head to Kalispell, Mont., this weekend.
The Bandits open their three-game weekend in a dust-up with Edmonton on Friday at 2 p.m.
“It’s going to be a step up,” said Bandits head coach Paul Mrazek. “We play in this tournament every year. Last year, we played in the final. I don’t see why we can’t compete with these teams again. But I think there’s going to be a few teams that are going to be better than the talent we saw [last weekend] in Libby.”
Mrazek saw plenty of promise from his squad on opening weekend, but with the season still in its infancy, he knows there’s plenty of room for improvement.
In particular, he planned on using the week ahead of the tournament to work on situational hitting with his squad.
“When we have runners in scoring position, we’ve got to cash them in,” Mrazek said. “That’s done by hitting grounds balls and line drives as opposed to fly balls.”
After opening the Kalispell tournament against Edmonton, the Bandits face Calgary ‘A’ Saturday morning at 11:30 a.m.
The final opponent of the weekend is still to be determined, with the final game coming Sunday.
The Bandits are 3-0 after one weekend of American Legion Baseball, having defeated Noxon, Missoula and the Kootenai Valley Rangers.
Infielder Brendan Bird carries a dangerous .500/.727/1.000 slash line into the weekend, while Devon Marra has tossed six innings, whiffing 13 batters.
Following this weekend’s journey to Kalispell, the Bandits return to Cranbrook for their home opener when they welcome the Kootenai Valley Rangers to Confederation Park for 1 p.m. matinee on Saturday, May 23.