LILLY – Posting their second shutout in as many days during the 76th AAABA Tournament, the Philadelphia Bandits trounced the Cleveland B2Bulls 10-0 in eight innings at Lilly-Washington War Memorial Field on Tuesday.
While both teams posted resounding wins in Pool C on Monday, the Bandits used 71/3 innings of four-hit ball from starter Jared Minnicbach to quiet the Cleveland bats until their own bats came alive during the middle innings.
“We don’t want to get complacent here,” Philadelphia Bandits manager Greg Olenski said. “We have a lot ahead of us.
“We have a lot of arms and we’re swinging the bats well. We came with one job and that’s to win a championship. That’s what we’re going to do.”
The Bandits’ first run came in the third as Eric Marasheski’s sacrifice fly brought in Jack Heineman.
While Philadelphia’s defensive momentum was on full display in the first four innings, it wasn’t until the fifth inning that the Bandits received a major jolt from their offense. Marasheski, Owen Petrich, Gaeton Grandelli and Trey Obarowski each scored for Philadelphia. Marasheski tripled in Obarowski to make it 2-0 two batters before scoring on Petrich’s triple.
Two more runs followed on an error, giving the Bandits a 5-0 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, Cleveland had a chance to make a comeback with the bases loaded. However, a double-play ball to Petrich and a fly-out to Obarowski put an end to that B2Bulls chance.
“(Petrich and Obarowski) got me out of a jam,” Minnicbach said. “Just another note in our defensive story for this tournament.”
The standout performance from the Philadelphia defense, both infield and outfield, was a key component to holding back the Cleveland offense.
“We do pride ourselves on our bats, but defensively I feel that we are (underestimated),” Grandelli said. “We pride ourselves on keeping it like a graveyard out there, don’t let anything drop.”
“We’ve gotten great defensive performances from outfielders, infielders, and pitchers. You can’t ask for anything better than that as a coach,” Olenski said.
At the top of the eighth inning, the Bandits tallied four runs eventually triggering the 10-run mercy rule when Cleveland failed to cut into the lead.
Marasheski hit a triple and scored on an error, Cavon Tully and Petrich scored off of another B2Bulls error and catcher Phil Stahl scored the final run of the game off of a single from Anthony Bruno.
Minnicbach struck out four in nabbing the win.
Philadelphia will take on the Zanesville Junior Pioneers at Forest Hills High School in their Pool C finale at noon on Wednesday, while Cleveland faces Altoona-2 Johnston Realty at Westmont Hilltop High School, also at noon.
“Defense made tons of plays and it makes me feel great about going into tomorrow,” Minnicbach said. “I feel like we have a bunch of dogs in the outfield and the infield, making plays.”
Notes: Philadelphia Bandits first baseman Jack Heineman suffered a head injury while batting in the sixth inning and was immediately taken to the hospital.