, Muskogee, OK


July 14, 2014

Bandits fall in CSC finals

WARNER — Execution has been a reoccurring problem for the Three Rivers Bandits.

Stranding 12 runners on base, along with struggles from the mound were enough to cause that kind of frustration for the Bandits, as they fell 5-3 to the Oklahoma Sandlot White Sox in the championship of the July Showcase at Connors State College on Sunday.

“We just didn’t pitch well. We walked a few guys and we didn’t get a hit we needed and we just left too many guys on base,” said Three Rivers assistant coach Chuck Smithson. “We didn’t get hits when we needed them and it really put us in a hole.”

Three consecutive walks from Connor Mangham to start  the second inning created an easy opportunity for Sandlot start digging the hole for the Bandits.

Garrett Hall scored the first run on Grayson Bossy’s sac fly to right field. The Oologah-based White Sox added one more in the second on Mangham’s fourth and fifth walks of the inning, pushing Josh Davis to make it a 2-0 game.

Two consecutive singles to start the third continued the struggle for Mangham. Matthew Byers scored from third on a wild pitch and Tahlequah’s Garrett Hall scored from second on an infield error off Dillon Gipson’s hard grounder, which made it a 4-0 game.

The Bandits had a big opportunity to chop into the deficit in the top half of the fourth. They loaded the bases with one out as Jack Christian took first on an error and Boo Seward and Ryan Collins came up with singles. Preston Whitten’s second strikeout of the day brought up A.J. Deason with two outs. Deason finally got the Bandits on the board, as he singled into right center to score Christian from third. Caleb Knight, who was 0-for-3 on the day, flied out to center to end the inning.

The White Sox tacked on another in the fourth as Seward gave up four consecutive one out singles, which only resulted in one run.

The Bandits added one in the fifth as Christian scored on a fielding error off the bat of Seward and Christian also scored on Collins’ two-out single in the seventh.

“We are going to have to start working on our small ball,” said Chuck Smithson. “Getting a bunt down, moving runners over when we need to, so that a single will score somebody. That’s what we have got to do.”

“We just have to keep playing baseball and get hot for the state tournament.”

The Bandits outhit the White Sox 7-6. Collins was 2-for-3 with a pair of singles, Deason had two single sin a 2-for-4 game and Tim Smithson doubled twice, also going 2-for-4.

Three Rivers gets Bentonville, Ark., at 6 p.m. tonight at Connors State.

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