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La Costa Bandits Place 3rd in Escondido Tournament
by Staff Writer
March 27-28, 2004-The Bandits are extremely busy with Rec League baseball, but they
set aside time to play one springtime tournament in Escondido on the weekend of March
27/28. The Escondido tournament was loaded with good teams so the Bandits knew they
had to bring their best bats and gloves if they wanted to win.
The Bandits started the tournament early Saturday morning against the Ramona Bulldogs.
With JP on the mound and the Bandits playing extremely strong defense, the Bandits shut
out the Bulldogs for the first four innings. The Bandits had no trouble scoring runs as all the
boys hit the ball hard, including out of the park homeruns by Brandon and Danny.
The Bulldogs managed to score five runs in the last inning to make things exciting, but the
Bandits held on to win 8-5.
The Bandits then moved to "Hobo field" in Escondido for their first ever match-up against
the Heat from La Puenta, Ca. The Bandits jumped out ahead, early in the first inning and
held the lead the entire game. The Heat showed no class in taunting the Bandit pitchers
with extremely crude and obnoxious taunting and chanting, but the Bandits held on.
Heading in to the fifth inning it looked like the Bandits would win the game by three runs,
but the Heat had other ideas. The Heat managed to slowly and methodically put three runs
on the board. They then turned to the umpire and declared that the last inning should not
be played because the game was one minute over the time limit. The game was declared
final, with a tie score of 9-9.
The Bandits woke up early again on Sunday to prepare for what looked like a long day of
baseball. The boys were at the fields early with their Sunday game faces on. Kevin started
and threw four great innings of near perfect pitching against the San Diego Sting. The Bash
brothers backed him with great hitting to produce eight quick runs. The game was
eventually called after 4 ½ innings with the Bandits winning 11-3, with the game called on
account of MERCY.
The Bandits were now set to march into the tournament semi-finals. This game matched
the Bandits against the mighty Bombers of West Covina, Ca. The Bombers had saved
their biggest and best pitcher for this game. Weighing in at 140 pounds, the nine year old
from West Covina looked as if he could carry the entire Bomber squad on his shoulders
alone. Rumors in the stands had it that this kid had hit numerous homeruns and had a 55
mph fastball. The Bandit boys did not flinch. Stepping up to the plate in the first inning, the
Bash brothers quickly put three runs on the board, with line drives being sprayed all over
the field. The Bandits shut down the Bombers in the bottom of the first inning and began to
gain a little confidence. The Bandits came out hitting again in the second inning scoring two
more runs. The Bombers quickly pulled their ace pitcher and the Bandits gained a little
more confidence. With a few more runs added in the second and third innings the game
appeared to be tilting in the favor of the Bandits. The Bombers had other ideas. The
Bombers came in and scored five runs in the fourth inning to narrow the score. The
Bandits scored two more in the fifth when Nick Shirreffs hit a 220 foot shot over the left
field fence. The score was now tied heading into the last inning. The Bandits quickly put
runners on base with nobody out. The Bombers managed to make two great put-outs at
home plate allowing the Bandits to score just one run in the top of the inning. The
Bombers came in to bat and hit the ball hard, scoring two runs to win in the bottom of the
last inning in a game that will be remembered for a long time.
The Bombers went on to win the tournament by beating the SD Hawks in the finals 7-0.