Bandits split final doubleheader

Squad earns a win and a loss against visiting team from Whitefish on Saturday.

Rocky Mountain Bandits pitcher Carter McDonald prepares for a throw on the pitchers mound while teammate Curtis Luke readies himself for a pick at first base.

Rocky Mountain Bandits pitcher Carter McDonald prepares for a throw on the pitchers mound while teammate Curtis Luke readies himself for a pick at first base.

The curtain has fallen on another season for the Rocky Mountain Bandits, which wrapped up their schedule with a split record against the Whitefish Glacier A team over the weekend.

Though the initial game was close up until the fifth inning, the Bandits lost their opener of the double header by 24-8, they came back and responded with a 7-3 win to finish off the double-header.

Bandits head coach Paul Mrazek said facing the Glacier A team was a good way to finish off  the season, noting that both games were competitive.

Their first game stayed competitive right up until the fifth inning, but the wheels fell off for the Bandits, and the Glaciers took advantage.

“We were hanging in there and then things went sideways,” said Mrazek.

However, the Bandits managed to settle down in the rematch and come out with a win to end their season.

“Ryan Philips pitched a complete game, he did really well, and kept the runners off base and we won 7-3,” said Mrazek.

“That was good, splitting with Whitefish’s A team.”

As far as the season goes, Mrazek said their record of 11 wins is the best since 2008.

He added that the team showed some progress, especially with the young players that will be back with the squad next year.

“Manufacturing runs—we improved on that, implementing hit and run, which last year, I started. We really haven’t hit and run in the past,” said Mrazek.

“We squeezed a lot and were successful with that, so being able to get that one run, to ensure that win—that sort of thing.”

Aside from the baseball skills, there were also some important lessons learned from the mental side of the game,

“Learning not to panic when we’re up in the game,” said Mrazek. “It’s okay if we’re up by four and they score one, not to worry that the other team has a runner on base. Being able to play through it and what’s important and what isn’t.

“The kids got a better understanding of the game and what different situations mean and that.”

The Bandits, namely their younger players, are looking at playing some baseball in the fall with a few Montana teams on a more informal basis.

“Not necessarily a league but I just expressed interest to Montana teams,” said Mrazek. “Just to get some more weeks in and get some more time for the younger players to develop.”