Baseball

The offense wasted little time setting the tone in the opener Saturday afternoon, and the Belgrade Bandits cruised to victory in Cody, Wyo.

Belgrade routed the Cubs 17-2 in five innings to begin a doubleheader and then blew an early lead in Game 2 en route to an 11-8 defeat.

Easton Page belted a solo home run to give the Bandits a 1-0 lead in the second game and then Belgrade took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. But things took a turn for the worse after the Bandits had stretched it to 4-1.

“We had a shot to just keep adding on creating distance and create separation,” Belgrade manager Johnny Graham said. “And once we got to that 4-1 (lead) we got a little lax, and then the next thing you know it’s 4-2 and 4-3. And then we had an inning that started with a walk and before the inning was done we had two more walks and three errors. We gave that lead up in a hurry.”

The Cubs scored 11 consecutive runs, and then held off a seventh inning charge. Belgrade scored four runs to trim the deficit to three and had the bases loaded before the rally fizzled out.

“I thought Cooper VanLuchene threw real well in that game,” said Graham. “We were clean early on in the game.”

While Cody managed to salvage a split, the Bandits dominated the opener.

“We played well and they struggled a little bit. That turns into a real lopsided game quickly,” said Graham. “We played well defensively. I thought Easton and Mason (Jacobsen) threw well.”

Graham noted that the offense shined as well.

“We strung together a number of hits. We hit the ball hard. We were active and we executed well,” he said. “Cody, I want to say, had five or six errors and put six or seven of our guys on base via walks. So it kind of led to the final.”

Belgrade began the weekend with a 15-5 loss at the Bozeman Bucks AA Thursday. The Bandits took a 5-4 lead in the fifth inning before it quickly became a one-sided affair.

Bozeman scored three runs in the sixth, added two more in the seventh, and then put the contest away in the eighth with six runs.

Kash Fike and Coby Richards belted doubles for the Bandits in the loss.

Belgrade (6-5) is back in action Saturday with a game at the Bozeman Bucks A squad. Then they’ll begin Southern A conference play Sunday by hosting Anaconda in a twinbill.

Bozeman 15, Belgrade 5

Belgrade               000 050 00  -   5  6  5

Bozeman              100 303 26  -  15  9  1

Complete stats were not available.