Bama Bandits take third in USSSA, BPA tournaments
Staff Reports, Hartselle Enquirer
The Bama Bandits 11-and-under travel baseball team placed third in both the USSSA and BPA championships the past two weekends.
Last week, the Bandits competed with 21 other teams in the BPA Championship in Cullman, but came up short of defending their state championship in 2004, finishing in third place this year.
The Bandits knocked off the Oxford A's 11-0 to start pool play, with Aaron Wooley and Jacob Garrison combining to pitch a no-hitter. Blaze Lawrimore led the offense with three hits and Wooley and Austin Dupper added two hits each. Travis Davis drove in two runs.
Wooley again sparkled on the mound against the Fort Payne Sox as the Bandits cruised to an easy 16-4 victory. Casey Goodwin paced the offense with a two-run home run, and Garrison, Keaton Bennich and Lawrimore had multiple-hit games.
The Bandits' performance in pool play sent them into the single-elimination round of eight, and Bama advanced with a 7-3 victory over the Huntsville Bulls.
Wooley and Garrison combined for the win, and Goodwin's grand slam in the second inning helped the Bandits move into the round of four. The Bandits faced the Bama Ice in the semifinals, but fell 4-0 in a tough game.
The Bandits went on the road again last weekend to participate in the USSSA State Tournament in Scottsboro. The Bandits earned a No. 2 seed in the single-elimination round after defeating the Birmingham Bruisers 7-1 Friday night and the North Alabama Rockets 16-4 Saturday morning.
Wooley pitched two-hit ball for three innings against the Bruisers, and Garrison's two hits led the Bandits' offense. Against the Rockets, the Bandits were down 4-3 until tying the game in the fourth inning and scoring 12 runs in the fifth to put the game away. Lawrimore's triple with the bases loaded plated three runs and was the big hit of the game, and he also picked up the win in relief of starting pitcher Garrison.
The single-elimination portion of the tournament started Saturday night, with the Bandits opening against the Jasper Cobras. Bama battled and came away with a hard-fought 4-3 victory, with Gavin Marsh's RBI single in the bottom of the sixth breaking a 3-3 tie. Dalton Jenkins added a double in the contest, and pitchers Carson Clemons, Lawrimore and Garrison combined for the victory.
The Bandits' next opponent was the Eastern Shore LandSharks from Mobile, but Bama's bats cooled down as the Bandits fell 10-2 and only picked up five hits against the LandSharks' pitching.
Marsh and Wooley each received All-State honors for their performance in the tournament.