Bandit

After a 14-2 win to kick off Saturday’s doubleheader, Belgrade manager Johnny Graham wasn’t convinced of his team’s impressive performance.

It wasn’t until Game 2 when he watched the progress the Bandits are making early in the season.

After blowing out Smash Baseball 18U to open the Rocky Mountain School of Baseball Memorial Day Tournament in Salt Lake City, Belgrade beat Wasatch (Utah), 6-2.

Easton Page pitched five innings in the nightcap and allowed one run on four hits while striking out six and walking four. Kash Fike came on in relief and closed out the game in the sixth.

“Game 2 is where I was really pleased with how we played,” Graham said. “They had quality good arms, had athletic kids, played defense well and I liked their lineup a lot. I thought we played pretty well, Easton threw well, Kash came in and did a nice job defensively.”

In the opener, Belgrade (10-5) leaned on Coby Richards and Gavin Waters, who combined to allow two runs on three hits in five innings. Richards struck out eight of the 13 batters he faced in three innings of work.

Offensively, Cooper VanLuchene scored a team-high three runs and Page went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run.

“(Page) gives you quality at-bats more often than not,” Graham said. “When he gets on, he knows how to use his speed. He makes things happen at the top of the lineup for us.”

After Friday’s games were rained out, Saturday’s sweep was an encouraging sign for the Bandits. They’ll play again Sunday morning and hope to build off the solid showing.

“I thought we could’ve executed a little better offensively,” Graham said. “We left some runs on the bases, but it’s still May and that’s why we play good teams like this who punch you for mistakes. I was happy with today.”

The Bandits wrapped up the weekend with a pair of victories on Sunday. They beat Idaho Falls 10-1 and Spartans Baseball 12-5.

Richards was 2 for 3 with a triple against Idaho Falls, while Cole Thomas was 2 for 4 with a double. Cooper VanLuchene tossed a 2-hitter on the mound.

Against Spartans Baseball, Keaton Carter, Lane Neil, Thomas and VanLuchene each had a pair of hits in the victory.

Belgrade (12-5) returns to action June 4 hosting longtime rival Gallatin Valley in a Southern A doubleheader.

— Belgrade News Sports Editor Dan Chesnet contributed to this story.

Belgrade 14, Smash Baseball 18U 2

Smash                         001 01  -   2    3  5

Belgrade                     155 3x  -  14  17 0

Coby Richards, Gavin Waters (4) and n/a. Mitch Peterson, Porter Thorpe (3) and Karson Winward (4) and n/a. W - Richards. L - Peterson.

SMASH - Carson Standifird 1-2, Peterson 0-3, Bobby Schneck 0-2, Thorpe 0-2, Matt Money 0-2, Brock Ashman 0-1, Sawyer Hanks 0-1, Andrew Florence 0-1, Kyle Soter 1-2 (3B), Winward 1-2.

BELGRADE (9-5) - Easton Page 2-3, Cole Thomas 1-4, Brandon Matthews 3-4 (2 2B), Richards 3-4, Seth Green 1-4 (2B), Lane Neill 2-3, Cooper VanLuchene 3-3 (2B), Alex Casas 1-1 (2B), Waters 0-1, Isaiah Brandhorst 1-2.

Belgrade 6, Wasatch 2

Belgrade 020 004  -  6  8  1

Wasatch 100 001  -  2  6  3

Easton Page, Kash Fike (6) and n/a. Jake Post, Bryant Prieto (3), Keegan Sabey (6) and n/a. W - Page. L - Post.

BELGRADE (10-5) - Page 0-2, Cole Thomas 0-1, Brandon Matthews 1-3, Coby Richards 1-3, Seth Green 2-3, Lane Neill 2-3, Cooper VanLuchene 1-3 (2B), Alex Casas 1-2, Fike 0-1, Isaiah Brandhorst 0-2.

WASATCH - Zac Webster 0-2, Davin Hansen 2-3, Post 0-2, Zak Thacker 0-2, Keegan Sabey 2-3, Unavailable 1-3, Wyatt Wilson 1-2, Derrick Davis 0-2, Brock Cloward 0-1, Trevor Ward 0-1, Prieto 0-2.

Belgrade 10, Idaho Falls 1

Idaho Falls 010 000  -  1  2  3

Belgrade 221 113  -  10  9  2

George Price, Ian Galbreaith (5) and n/a. Cooper VanLuchene and n/a. W - VanLuchene. L - Price.

IDAHO FALLS - Cruz Taylor 0-3, Ryan Horvath 0-3, Chandler Robinson 0-2, Trey Olson 0-2, Braden Owens 0-2, Price 1-2, Korbin Bauer 0-2, Aaron Nelson 0-1, Ryker Perkins 0-1, Galbreaith 1-2.

BELGRADE (11-5) - Isaiah Brandhorst 1-3, Lane Neill 0-4, Cole Thomas 2-4 (2B), Coby Richards 2-3 (3B), VanLuchene 1-3, Daniel Rickenberg 0-0, Kash Fike 1-1, Mason Jacobsen 0-2, Keaton Carter 2-2, Alex Casas 0-0.

Belgrade 12, Spartans Baseball 5

Belgrade                  300 009  -  12  11  2

Spartans                   030 020  -   5    7  4

Mason Jacobsen, Cole Thomas (6) and n/a. Tyler J., Alex A. (6), Chase H. (6), Jon P. (6) and n/a. W - Thomas. L - Alex. A.

BELGRADE (12-5) - Easton Page 1-3, Alex Casas 0-1, Thomas 2-4, Coby Richards 1-4, Lane Neill 2-4, Cooper VanLuchene 2-2, Kash Fike 1-3, Mason Jacobsen 0-2, Keaton Carter 2-4.

SPARTANS BASEBALL - Hunter V. 0-3, Mah G. 1-3, Brian J. 0-2, Jon P. 0-3, Tyler J. 2-3 (2B), Ty Daley 1-3 (2B), Easton W. 0-3, Chase H. 2-2 (2B), Lincoln S. 1-2 (2B), Alex A. 0-1.