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Torres STEAL One From The Bandits
By Staff Writer
December 20, 2003-Heading into the Escondido Toys For Tots Tournament Finals it
looked like nothing could stop the Bandits. The Bandits beat their rival Reds from
Encinitas, held back the top-rated Torres from La Jolla, and then they destroyed the Sting
from Chula Vista. What could possibly stop the Bandits from marching away with their
first tournament victory?
The Bandits started the game on Sunday December 14th in a light drizzle. Both teams
were exhausted after playing tournament ball all day on Saturday and all day on Sunday,
but teams were determined to win – especially with a World Series birth at stake. In the
top of the first inning, the Torres jumped on the Bandits for two quick runs. But the
Bandits came back in the bottom of the first with seven huge runs. The game quickly
turned into a classic hitting battle with each team managing to produce runs in every at
bat. By the top of the fourth the score was tied at 9-9. The Torres scored four runs in
the top of the fourth inning, only to be matched by the Bandits’ four runs in the bottom of
the fourth. Both teams were showing signs of exhaustion and it appeared that it might
come down to a challenge of who could put pitchers on the mound to complete the
game. Fortunately, the Torres had “used up” their ace, CJ in the previous game and he
had nothing left for this game. The Bandits were licking their chops as they continued to
go deeper in the lineup of Torres backup pitchers.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Torres added just one run, making the score 13-12. The
Bandits came up in the bottom of the fifth and managed to get a runner to second base.
Evan stepped up to the plate excited to know that he could tie the game with a hit.
Suddenly the lights went out and the field went dark. The coaches and tournament
officials convened at home plate and agreed to continue the game the following Sunday.
(The Torres were obviously more than happy to proceed with this plan as it meant their
ace pitcher would receive an entire week of rest before resuming the game!).
After a week of rest both teams resumed play with two outs and Niko of the Bandits on
second base. The Torres quickly made a pitching change sending their ace, CJ to the
mound. Niko stole third base. Evan now stood at the plate facing the fastest pitcher in
Southern California. Evan rose to the challenge and laid down a perfect bunt to tie the
game. The Torres then closed down the inning and both teams started the sixth and final
inning tied up 13-13. The Torres managed to score one run and appeared to be on the
verge of scoring a second run when Evan fired a ball from centerfield to home plate for a
put-out at home. It was now 14-13 in favor of the Torres and the Bandits marched in to
bat in the bottom of the last inning. Throwing pure heat, CJ showed his best by striking
out the first batter. Danny then got on with an infield fly error. He quickly stole second
base as CJ struck out the second batter. Danny then stole third base as the Bandits
prepared for the final do or die at-bat. On this day, it was not to be. CJ threw his fastest
pitches of the day and the umpire called them strikes for a third and final out. Final score,
Torres 14, Bandits 13.