by nathan oster
The South Big Horn Junior Little League Bandits split their final two doubleheaders of the regular season against Cody and Powell to finish with 15-10 record.
Curtis Johnson, who managed the team of 13 and 14 year olds, said the doubleheader with Cody on June 26 didn’t begin well, as his team kicked the ball around defensively and didn’t pitch or hit well in a 19-0 thrashing.
“We had some kids in new positions and we tried four new pitchers, just to get some experience for next year,” Johnson said of the loss. “Due to errors and some passed balls at the plate we just couldn’t muster up a good enough rally to stay in the game.”
Johnson went with a more traditional lineup for the nightcap and it paid off in the form of a 5-3 victory. “We had kids in their respective positions and our hitting came around a little better,” said Johnson.
The Bandits also split a twinbill with Powell on June 28, and while Johnson couldn’t recall the score of the first game, “it was pretty close through the whole hour and 45 minutes that we played.”
The nightcap was called after three inning with Greybull leading 2-1.
“The kids had a great season and came a long way,” he said. “They all played very well together and were easy to coach. They all took advice and used it making them better ball players. I was honored to coach them all. It’s always fun to have a winning season.
“I look forward to next year with our 13 year olds coming back and feel like we will continue to get stronger and play harder as the years go on.”
Big Horn County will be fielding an all-star team of players from Lovell, Cowley and Greybull.
Tryouts are planned for July 5.
Three of Greybull’s 13 year olds — Davis Wrage, Irving Castro and Ricardo Hernandez — played on a Lovell team that faced a traveling team from Billings, the Tsunamis, on June 30. The two teams split the twin bill, with Billings winning the opener 5-3 and Lovell the nightcap 8-6.
All three Greybull players saw a considerable amount of playing time and contributed in positive ways, according to Johnson.
The all-star team will be playing Powell in the first round of the state tournament in Powell on July 17, then will travel to Green River to finish out the state tournament. The victor will advance to the Western Regionals in California.