, Muskogee, OK


July 12, 2014

Regaining their pride: Bandits use clipping to return to win column

WARNER – Execution was something that Three Rivers coach Rusty Fulps has been wanting to see more of. To boost energy, he posted a clipping of a Muskogee Phoenix article in the dugout that read, ‘Bandits fall short again’, with writing beside it saying ‘is this what you want for the summer of 2014?’

That must have worked because the Bandits used the stellar performance from MacKaine Foster on the mound, and timely hits, to shut out the Ellis County, Texas, 18U Prospects 4-0, at Connors State College in the CSC July Showcase.

“That statement really stuck with us,” said Foster. “The Bandits are a lot more capable than that statement. We all know it as a team that we can change that. So we got that bad taste in our mouth and knew we had to come out and do our very best.”

Foster definitely helped momentum swing in the Bandits (27-6) direction to start the game as Foster dominated the first three innings as seven of the nine outs in those innings were strikeouts. Those seven strikeouts were the start to an impressive day as Foster struck out 12 batters and allowed only three hits in his complete game.

“My defense really helped me out. It is their job, just as it is mine and they did a great job having my back,” said Foster “I did pretty good. I could have done better but I came out and did what I had to do to get us this win. It felt good.”

The Bandits had to overcome a challenge they had faced in previous games – taking advantage of scoring situations and scoring in different ways other than just hitting the ball. They did just that.

An overthrown ball on an attempt to beat Dillion Guffey at first base in the fourth was the catalyst for the first run of the game as Drew Wilson easily scored from second on the error to give the Bandits the edge. Guffey then scored from third on Colby Huval’s single into center field, giving them a 2-0 lead.

In the following inning, Wilson tripled in the home half of the fifth to score both A.J. Deason and Tim Smithson, giving the Bandits a 4-0 lead.

“We got some runs in when we had them in scoring position and we had some key hits. And that’s what we’ve been lacking in the last couple weeks,” said Fulps. “We pitched well. Foster gave the same outing he usually gives us. Our guys played pretty good today. They had a lot more energy.”

The Bandits earned a run-rule victory earlier in the day, as they steam rolled the Tulsa Titans, 18-2.

Wagoner’s Preston Whitten was 5-for-5 with three singles, a double, and a solo home run against the Titans. Checotah’s Jack Christian was the winning pitcher for the Bandits, striking out three and giving up just five hits. The Bandits out hit the Titans, 20-5.

The Bandits take to the field at

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