Cranbrook Bandits head coach Paul Mrazek (right) has a discussion on the mound with catcher Robert Nickell (#14) and pitcher Tyler Thorn (left) during American Legion Baseball action at Confederation Park earlier this season. Thorn helped guide his squad to a 12-0 victory over the Mission Valley Mariners this past Sunday in Polson

Bandits split weekend, claim wins over Twins, Mariners

Cranbrook Bandits split past weekend with Twins, Mariners; headed to Big Bucks Tournament in Libby this weekend

The Cranbrook Bandits continued to exchange blows with opponents, earning splits with the Glacier Twins and Mission Valley Mariners in American Legion Baseball action south of the border this past weekend.

The Bandits (12-9-0) opened the weekend with a resounding 14-2 victory over the Twins in Whitefish, Mont., before dropping the backend of the doubleheader by a 9-2 final.

Sunday, Cranbrook’s boys of summer were off to Polson, Mont., where they dropped a 10-5 decision to the Mariners before bouncing back with a 12-0 shutout victory to close the weekend.

Saturday’s 14-2 triumph saw the Bandits jump out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the second inning, taking control of the contest.

Rookie Brandon Thorn went the distance, pitching seven innings of two-run baseball, scattering seven hits and one walk, while striking out two batters. Eli Thomas took the loss for the Twins, lasting two innings and surrendering five runs (two earned).

Offensively for the Bandits, Linden Meggison and Tyler Thorn chipped in with three RBI each, while Kei Chlopan scored four runs.

Glacier’s 9-2 win came on the strength of an eight-run effort in the bottom of the third inning. Jake Bromley took the loss on the mound for Cranbrook, going 2.1 innings and surrendering eight runs (four earned) on four hits.

Brandon Thomas went five innings to earn the victory for the Twins, striking out four batters.

Sunday in Polson, the Bandits were doubled up 10-5 in the opener, with Zach Evertz claiming the win, firing three innings of two-run baseball (zero earned). For the Bandits, Dan Mercandelli was saddled with his first loss of the campaign lasting 3.1 innings as he allowed nine runs (four earned) on seven hits.

After the tough decision to start the day, the Bandits wrapped up the weekend in dominant fashion as veteran Tyler Thorn led his squad to a 12-0 win over the Mariners.

Thorn went the distance, throwing five innings of three-hit baseball, striking out three batters en route to the shutout win.

Meggison was once again instrumental on offense, hammering four RBI and scoring twice himself, going 3-for-3 at the dish along with drawing a walk.

Next up, the Bandits head south of the border once again for the 2016 Big Bucks Tournament from June 23 to 26 in Libby, Mont.

Play gets underway Thursday as the host Loggers take on the Moscow Blue Devils.

The Bandits open the tournament Friday afternoon when they face the Coeur d’Alene Lumbermen. From there, the Bandits take on the Tri-County Cardinals Saturday morning before facing the Lewis & Clark Cubs that afternoon.

Sunday will serve as the championship round with the first-place teams from each pool playing for the crown.

The Bandits are expected to be without seven veteran players this weekend due to graduation ceremonies in Cranbrook and Kimberley. The conflict will provide ample opportunity for some of the Bandits’ young practice roster charges to get some time on the diamond.

After the Big Bucks Tournament in Libby, the Bandits return home for midweek action at Confederation Park as the Mission Valley Mariners visit Cranbrook for a doubleheader on Wednesday, June 29, beginning at 1 p.m.