|10U SlumpBuster® Champions - The 9U Banditos Black|
- By Ernie Rapiere
June 27, 2010 Omaha, Nebraska – The 9U Houston Banditos Black are the 2010 Triple Crown Sports SlumpBuster® 10U Division 1 Champions. The Banditos are one of the top teams in the country and are currently ranked as the #8 team in the nation by TravelBallSelect. Following is a game by game rundown that tracks the Banditos through Championship Sunday - all the way through the title game.
The Banditos started the championship rounds early Sunday morning against the Golden Gophers of Boulder, Colorado.
The Banditos started off slow and had trouble getting their sticks going against the pinpoint pitching of Golden Gopher pitcher, Jack McLaughlin.
But, Joe Davis got the Banditos offense in gear with a key hit/RBI in the bottom of the 1st inning to put the Banditos on the board. In the bottom of the 2nd, Sammy Faltine added a big hit and RBI to extend the Banditos lead to 2-0. Then, Mark Utley laid down a SAC bunt, putting the Banditos up 3-0 going into the 2nd inning.
From that point, it was a duel of pitchers until the top of the 6th inning. For the first three innings, Peyton LeJeune had held the Gophers scoreless as he gave up on 2 hits, 1 walk, while striking out 4.
Kevin Ortiz, who had pitched well throughout the tournament, came in to relieve to start the 4th inning. He pitched the 4th and 5th and followed by striking out 3 batters while allowing only 1 run. The Gophers got on the board in the bottom of the 5th inning to narrow the Banditos lead to 3-1.
In the bottom of the 6th, the Gophers loaded the bases with 2 outs. It looked like they were ready to pull off a big upset. But the Banditos brought Joe Davis to the mound. He promptly got a huge strikeout to end the game. Final Score – Banditos 3, Gophers 1.
The Semi-final round matched the Banditos against the Carolina Rage of Seven Springs, NC. In a nutshell, this game was about the big innings.
The Banditos opened with a big 1st inning when Mikie Fitzpatrick (pictured left) got an RBI double to put his team on the board. Kevin Ortiz (pictured right) followed with another RBI hit that drove Fitzpatrick home to put the Banditos up 2-0 after one full inning. That is where the score settled until the top of the 4th inning as Banditos pitcher, Matthew Benitez, tossed a shutout through 3 full innings of play.
The Carolina Rage opened with Christopher Harrison. He pitched the first 3 innings before being relieved by Trey Jernigan and Camden Noble in the 4th inning.
The fun of baseball is that things can change quickly. Trailing 0-2, the Rage opened the top of the 4th inning, bringing the top of their order - ready and eager to show why they are called the “Rage”. They came out swinging in a fit of rage that didn’t subside until they had plated 4 runs to take a 4-2 lead. This rally was fueled by key RBI hits from Austin Rouse, Colby McLawhorn, Jacob Deaver, and Trace Marshburn. In addition, the Rage also got huge hits from Garrett Tyndall and Brandon Poaker to help fuel their rally.
But, the Banditos bats woke up in the bottom of the 5th inning as the bottom 4 batters in the Banditos lineup each got key singles to set up the top of the Banditos order. And the Banditos lead batters capitalized by either getting hits or causing errors that lead to scores. When the Banditos rally settled, they had added 6 runs and held an 8-4 lead going into the final inning.
Once again, Joe Davis (pictured left), came to the mound and closed out the game as he refused to allow another Rage run to cross home plate. Final Score Banditos 8, Rage 4.
The Banditos’ hot bats continued in the title game against the Colorado Springs Thunder. The game started with plenty of offense as the Thunder scored 2 runs in the top of the 1st. But the Banditos responded with their own bundle of offensive explosives as they got 5 runs off several nice hits including an RBI double from Kevin Ortiz. The Thunder added another run in the 2nd, but once again, the Banditos topped that as they added 3 more runs to up their lead to 8-2 as they got key hits from Kanin Dodge, Cameron Godfrey, Mikie Fitzpatrick and Kevin Ortiz.
After blanking the Thunder in the 3rd, the Banditos got 2 insurance runs from an RBI single from Sammy Faltine followed by an RBI double from Mark Utley.
After a scoreless 4th inning, the Thunder pushed across another run in the 5th and threatened in the 6th inning. But once again, Joe Davis was brought in with one out. Two strikeouts later, the 9U Banditos Black was celebrating as the 2010 SlumpBuster® 10U Division I title trophy belonged to them - forever.
Pitching and defense was key all weekend as the Banditos made their championship run. Their team ERA was 1.87 in the 6 games. Their defense was led by shortstop Justin Wishkoski who several key stops and also came in huge at the plate. Joe Davis, Peyton LeJeune, Matthew Benitez and Justin Wishkoski all had excellent performances pitching. Mikie Fitzpatrick got the win in the championship game.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 23 December 2010 12:09|