Cranbrook Bandits face busy weekend on the road

‘A’ baseball team in Montana for three straight doubleheaders, ‘B’ squad at Medicine Hat tournament

It’s a jam-packed weekend for the Cranbrook Bandits baseball program, as the ‘A’ team is headed to Montana and the ‘B’ team is going to Medicine Hat.

The ‘A’ group are continuing their American Legion Montana League season after spending the past two weekends at tournaments. They will play four straight doubleheaders beginning on Friday, July 7.

The first three will be road games in Montana. On Friday, the Bandits are in Libby to face off against the Loggers. The next day, they play in Hamilton against the Bitterroot Red Sox and on Sunday, they play the Bitterroot Bucs.

Their road stretch then ends on Monday at home against the Glacier Twins. Cranbrook lost both of their previous games to the Twins this season.

The Monday doubleheader will be played at Confederation Park and is the team’s last game before a five-day rest.

According to the official standings, the Bandits have a 3-5 conference record and are currently in seventh place in the Class ‘A’ West Division standings.

The Bandits need to finish in the top eight of nine teams to make the postseason but with the Kootenai Valley Rangers disbanding mid-season due to a lack of players, a playoff spot is guaranteed.

The post-season district tournament will be held in Whitefish, Montana from July 19 to 23.

The ‘B’ team, meanwhile, will look to snap their 16-game losing streak at a tournament in Medicine Hat, Alberta over the weekend.

The team hasn’t won since May 21 in a preseason game, but have been steadily improving and competed well in a pair of losses to the Lethbridge Lakers at home last weekend.

According to the ‘A’ team’s head coach, Paul Mrazek, their struggles are to be expected for a brand new team.

“There are a lot of positives but there are also a lot of areas for them to grow,” Mrazek said. “It’s a good start for our first expansion year, but there’s definitely a long way for us to go.”

The Bandits ‘B’ team will play four games in Medicine Hat from July 7 to 9. They will then finish their year the next weekend at a tournament in Hamilton, Montana hosted by the Bitterroot Red Sox.

They have an overall record of 8-16 so far this year.