A few tweaks here and there and the weekend could’ve gone a lot different for the Rocky Mountain Bandits.
However, they still had a good showing at a tournament in Kalispell, winning one game and losing two others by only one run.
“We’re taking games that we get command of, and then letting them back in a little bit, sometimes slowly, without closing the door on them, so we gotta get tougher,” said Bandits head coach Paul Mrazek. “A routine play turns into an error, bad base running—you can’t have that.”
The first game ended with a close 9-8 loss to the Vauxhall Spurs.
“…We were right in there but we’re making too many little mistakes,” said Mrazek. “A little mistake here, a little mistake there, and we can’t keep making as many because they pile up, and then we let the other team back in the game.”
The Bandits fought back in the second game, demolishing the Whitefish Glacier B team 10-5.
After the first four innings, the Bandits managed to surge to a 10-run lead before things came a little unhinged.
“We came out, hit the ball really well,” said Mrazek. “I believe we had about 10 runs in the first four innings and then it was probably the second time around for their hitters against [pitcher] Carter McDonald and they just started swinging it and hitting ‘em hard.”
McDonald had some pain in his throwing arm, and Mrazek pulled him after a few hits and a walk, replacing him with Devon Marra.
The Glaciers then scored five runs before the inning before the Bandits closed it out.
“They got five back in that inning,” added Mrazek. “All of the sudden, their bats came alive and talking to their coach, he said, ‘We just started doing what you guys were doing—hitting the ball hard.’”
Their final game against a team from Medicine Hat, saw both teams see-saw in and out of the lead until things were knotted at 6-6 after the final inning.
“We were up, then they got back in it, then we took the lead again and then they tied it up,” Mrazek said. “There was a couple of runs that should’ve scored, but base running errors…we couldn’t score because we were getting picked off.”
The Medicine Hat Knights were able to capitalize on an error in an extra inning to get on base, and the runner eventually scored.
Next action for the Bandits is a home game at Confederation Park against the local senior men’s team on Wednesday at 6 p.m.