There’s something about Blaine that clicks for the Col-umbia Gorge River Bandits.
A five-win run through the competition last weekend earned the River Ban-dits 17U their second Blaine Border Wood Bat Tourna-ment championship in three years. They placed third last year.
The River Bandits (24-8-1) outscored their five opponents 46-9. Their closest contest was their first: a 7-4 vic-tory over the Cascade Crush 16U on Friday, July 12.
They won it all on Sunday, July 14, winning two games by a combined score of 24-4. Both games went the regulation seven innings.
River Bandits 17U 14, Seattle Wave Black 16U: A seven-run second inning propelled the Bandits to vic-tory in the Sunday afternoon championship game.
The Bandits scored four runs on errors in the top of the second on errors, but also got runs on Jack Kelly’s RBI single, Trenton How-ard’s bases-loaded walk, and Payden Webster’s fielder’s choice. The rally gave the Bandits a 7-3 lead.
They increased their lead to 12-4 in the top of the fourth frame on Kolby Rig-gleman’s RBI ground out and Howard’s three-run triple.
Howard (1 for 3) drove in five runs. The team totaled 10 RBI.
Riggleman (2 for 4, double) knocked in two runs.
Carter Bennett was 2 for 3 with three runs. Kelly scored twice while going 1 for 3 with two walks.
Garrett Mathany also was 2 for 4 with a stolen base and two runs.
The Bandits used four pitchers against the Wave. Ethan Perdue started and received the decision.
Davis Koester closed out the game, throwing two scoreless innings in relief of middle man Riggleman. He allowed two hits and struck out two.
Bandits 10, Anacortes 0: Kolby Riggleman, Payden Webster, and Tyler Collins combined on a one-hit shut-out in Sunday’s semifinal at Pipeline Sports Fields.
The trio struck out six, walked two, and worked around two errors. Riggle-man got the start and picked up the win.
Carter Bennett and Jack Kelly both went 2 for 4 with three runs batted in.
Trenton Howard, Ethan Perdue, and Collins each tallied two runs. Howard finished 1 for 3 with an RBI and the team’s only stolen base.
Riggleman was 1 for 3 with an RBI. His fourth-inning RBI double was the team lone extra base hit.
The Bandits scored their first run in the top of the second when Howard hustled home on a passes ball.
Kelly made it 2-0 in the third with his first of three RBI singles.
The Bandits tacked on five runs in the top of the fourth. Bennett singled home a run to make it 3-0.
Perdue scored on a wild pitch before Kelly singled to make it 5-0.
With one out, Riggleman lined a double to left field that knocked in Kelly. Rig-gleman eventually scored on Howard’s RBI ground out.
Riggleman danced with trouble in the second and third frames.
After two outs in the second, an Anacortes runner reached on an error before the right-hander walked a batter to put runners at second and first. A pop out to third baseman Perdue end-ed the threat.
In the third, an Anacortes runner advanced to third with two away. The inning ended when Riggleman in-duced a ground out to second baseman Webster.
Bandits 5, Blaine Black 1: Davis Koester dominated the Black lineup for eight innings last Saturday afternoon, yielding three hits and one unearned run with nine strikeouts and zero walks.
But it wasn’t until the top of that first extra inning that the Bandits gained their first lead and ultimately the win.
Nate Roth’s bunt single led to two runs and a 3-1 ad-vantage. Roth later scored on a passed ball to extend the margin to three runs.
Garrett Mathany’s line-drive RBI single to left with two out made it 5-1.
Blaine scored first on an error in the bottom of the first.
The Bandits tied it up in the fifth when Garrett Hog-berg came home on Payden Webster’s sacrifice fly.
Mathany was 2 for 2. Koester and Ethan Perdue each had one of the Bandits’ five base knocks.
The Bandits put runners in scoring position in nearly every inning. They left 11 men on base.
Bandits 10, Meridian 0: The duo of Ethan Perdue and Tyler Collins collaborated on a six-inning, five-hit shutout. Perdue, who pitch-ed the first four innings, got the win. He gave up three hits, walked two, and fan-ned three in the first of two Saturday games.
Payden Webster had two hits in two at-bats and drove in two runs.
Trenton Howard also was 2 for 2, with a double and two stolen bases. He tallied one RBI and scored a pair of runs.
Carter Bennett was 2 for 3 with a run, and Garrett Ma-thany and Garrett Hogberg both scored two runs.
Bandits 7, Cascade Crush 4: The Bandits led 6-2 after three innings of their Friday night opener in Blaine.
The Crush scored first in the top of the first with a pair of RBI singles but fell behind 4-2 in the second when the Bandits tallied runs on Trenton Howard’s RBI single and Payden Web-ster’s RBI ground out.
Webster finished with a team-high two RBI, despite going 0 for 1 in three plate-appearances.
Jack Kelly was 1 for 3 with an RBI. Ethan Perdue went 1 for 2 with a run, a sacrifice, and one RBI
Howard had two of the Bandits’ five hits. He scored twice and stole two bases.
The win went to starting pitcher Garrett Hogberg. He allowed five hits and three runs (two earned) in five innings. He struck out six and walked one.
Tyler Collins gave up one run on three hits over the last two innings.