The Cranbrook Senior "A" Bandits split their doubleheader with the Bitterroot Red Sox Tuesday, improving their American Legion record to 5-5.
Battling the American Legion's "A" Division Champions in 2015, 2016, and 2017, the Bandits had a tough matchup against a Red Sox team that's dominated in American Legion.
Entering the doubleheader with a 14-2 record, the Red Sox were handed just their third loss of the season Tuesday with the Bandits pulling ahead 10-8.
"Huge for the team right now and for the guys, they're seeing how well they can play," said Paul Mrazek, Head Coach of the Cranbrook Senior Bandits. "Physically, they're there, it's the mental part and the confidence, and that's a big confidence builder."
Having to push back the start time of their doubleheader because of Tuesday's brief hail storm, the Bandits would lose the second game 5-0 after five innings as both teams were forced to call the game because of daylight.
With 10 games left on the American Legion Conference schedule, the Bandits are in a full sprint to the District Playoffs in just over two weeks.
Mrazek said the team has made leaps and bounds from last year, and that they'll look to play consistent baseball over the next 18 days right to the end of their season.
"Compared to last year we're definitely ahead and the team is gelling and they're more confident."
The Senior "A" Bandits are back in action this weekend with a pair of doubleheaders against the Glacier Twins, heading to Whitefish on Saturday before returning to Cranbrook's Confederation Park on Sunday for games at 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm.
The Bandits will also the Kalispell Lakers and Libby Loggers for doubleheaders Tuesday and Wednesday, July 17th and 18th at Confederation Park just two days later, closing their regular season at home next weekend against the Missoula Mavericks.
- Bradley Jones
(All photos: Bradley Jones)
Audio: Paul Mrazek, Cranbrook Senior Bandits Head Coach