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Bandits close season at TOC
Bandits Little League1
Sebastian Russell of the Bandits runs from second to third base during the City Championship last week (Journal file photo).

The Bandits from Turlock American Little League had their season end in the semifinals of the Tournament of Champions on Wednesday after a remarkable run that included earning a City title.

Once the final out was made, Mariposa had beaten the Bandits for the second time in the tournament to knock them off after an 8-5 score from Los Banos.

“We reached the semifinal, so we are the third-place team in the tournament for District 73,” said Bandits head coach Jeff Bernard.

The Bandits kicked off TOC play last Saturday and fell in their first contest to Mariposa, 9-3.

This set them up in the consolation bracket where they saw back-to-back wins in order to reach the semifinal.

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Travis Bernard of the Bandits attempts to run home during the City Championship earlier in the month. The Bandits fell in the Tournament of Champions semifinals on Wednesday (Journal file photo).

On Monday, the Bandits rallied to beat the home team in Los Banos, 9-7.

Following their two-run win, the matchup was set once again between city foes.

The Bandits met the Redwings from Turlock National Little League for the second time this season.

Just like the City title game, the Bandits came out on top, following a 13-2 final.

This win set up the Bandits for one final try at a Mariposa team that had beaten them prior to the start of the tournament.

The Bandits jumped out early to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but it didn’t last long.

Then from there, the Bandits were outscored 8-3.

“They were consistent in getting runs. We scored some runs in the last inning, but it was too much, they got that final out on us,” said Bernard.

It was 7-2 in the fifth inning as Mariposa had gone up with a big lead.

“They kind of chipped away, but got some runs every inning then we were down by five in the fifth inning, because if they scored one more the game was over, but we held them off and kept playing but that last inning they got us,” said Bernard, who had his team down 8-3 heading into the sixth.

The final score for the semifinal was 8-5.

Starting pitcher Jeremy Aguilar tossed 70 pitches and went four innings.

Austin Bernard pitched the fifth inning.

The Bandits close out the season with a 17-3-1 overall record.

“It is wild we won that many games, but overall a really good season,” Bernard added. “Our kids were fundamentally sound and play well together. They were tough to beat when they were on the mound and good at-bats as well, we were consistent all year long, great hitting, fielding and it all clicked for us.”