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Bandits Win Escondido CABA Tournament
by Staff Writer

January 24-25, 2004-Playing in their first tournament of the 2004 season, the La Costa
Bandits exploded with three Sunday wins to take first place in the Escondido CABA
World Series Qualifier Tournament.   

Playing after a long rest of eight weeks and for the first time ever at Washington Park, the
Bandits looked rusty on the first day of tournament play.  In an early Saturday morning
game against the Del Mar Powerhouse Blue the Bandit bats were ice-cold.  It took
everything the boys could muster to put together a rally to finish the game with a tie score.  
The Bandits then took a two-hour breather and reconvened for a battle against the Tides
from Temecula.  Unfortunately, the Tides had the Bandits number on this day and managed
to edge out a one run victory over the Bandits, 7-6.  The Bandits looked back at the day
and agreed that it was time to go home and get some rest for the long journey that would
be necessary the following day.  Sleepovers were cancelled and long hot baths were
ordered for everyone.

The Bandit boys showed up at the field extra early on Sunday knowing what lied ahead.  
In their first game of the day, the boys faced the Bombers from Fontana, CA.  In an
absolutely stunning and awesome display of hitting the Bandits racked up 14 runs in the
first inning.  The game was called in the name of mercy after just 2 ½ innings, Bandits 16,
Bombers 0.

The Bandits took a well-deserved 3-hour break and headed to McDonalds to plan their
next battle.   The Bandits next faced the Stallions of Mira Mesa in the tournament semi-
finals.  In a classic battle of two well-coached teams, the battle started from the first inning.  
Both teams scored runs in the first and second innings, and both teams were held to no
runs in the third inning.  Heading into the fourth inning, it was obvious it would be a fight to
the finish.  Drawing on their experience, the Bandits dug deep and found a way to score
runs in the fourth and fifth innings and the Bandits finished on top with a final score of 11-7.

The sun was beginning to set and the lights were turned on as the tournament final game
was started with the Hawks against the Bandits.   The Bandits shut down the Hawks with
extremely tough defense in the top of the first inning. The Bandits then jumped ahead with
two runs in the bottom of the first inning.  With more tough defense, great pitching, and
more Bandits style hitting and base running, the Bandits stayed ahead and went on to a
tournament winning 8-4 victory.

The Bandits first tournament championship was highlighted by great teamwork.  The entire
team hit well, top to bottom in the line-up, and the pitchers and defense were second to
NONE.  
Some highlights included the following:
Kevin pitched a one-hitter (almost a perfect game) against the Bombers.
JP pitched extremely well and also hit well with a triple.
AJ had important catches defensively and hit the ball well with a triple in game three.
Derek had an extremely important, win-securing hit in the championship game.
Evan pitched well and had the winning catch in deep centerfield against the Stallions.
Danny had an explosive bat and pitched the team to victory in the final game.
Bryan had key hits and made unbelievable defensive plays at 3rd and SS.
Nick was solid behind the plate and hit a BOMB to deep left center field in game three.
Niko’s bat was explosive with key hits and a home run in the final game.
Christian played great defense and had a game saving throw to the plate in game one.
Nicholas dug extra deep and was unhittable in two games - including the finals.
Brandon yielded a BIG bat, slamming two triples and numerous base hits.
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