MARION – The Abilene Bandits junior Babe Ruth baseball season came to an end over the weekend at the district tournament in Marion.

The Bandits held for an exciting opening win against Mid-Kansas League All-Stars before dropping back-to-back games to Chapman and CVL.

In Thursday’s 14-13 win over Mid Kansas League Stars, the Bandits pounded out 11 hits and then held off a late seventh inning rally by the Stars to get the victory. It wasn’t pretty baseball as Abilene committed nine errors and the Stars had seven of their own but Abilene’s defense preserved the win with a double play to end the game.

Abilene scored twice in the first and added four runs in the third and fourth innings to go along with two runs in the fifth and seventh. The Stars scored once in the third and fourth but added eight in the fifth and one in the sixth and two more in the seventh. The Stars had the tying run thrown out and the winning run advancing to third when the game ended.

Offensively for the Bandits, Karsen Loader, Samuel Burton and Stewart Scott had two hits each to lead the attack. Loader drove in three runs and had two doubles in the game. Scott scored three times and Burton crossed twice.

Michael McClanahan, Braden Adams, Braden Wells, Brady Fitzgeralds and Ayden Taylor all had hits for the Bandits. Adams drove in two scores while Michael McClanahan, Fitzgeralds, Taylor and Triston Cottone collected RBI’s.

Burton picked up the win in relief of Loader as he tossed the last three innings. He allowed two earned runs on five hits. He struck out two while walking one. Loader pitched the first four innings and was charged with six unearned runs on four hits. He struck out two and walked two.

Friday night, Chapman stopped an Abilene sixth inning rally to take a 5-3 win over the Bandits. Chapman scored twice in the first and added single runs in the third, fourth and sixth inning. Abilene scored three times in the top of the sixth.

Scott had two of Abilene’s five hits. Loader and Brenton Reiff also had hits.

Schoby had two hits to lead Chapman.

Michael McClanahan was the hard luck pitcher for the Bandits as he gave up three earned runs on four hits in three innings. He walked five and struck out one. Scott tossed the final three frames allowing two unearned runs on one hit, walking three and striking out three.

Milton was the winning pitcher for Chapman.

Saturday night, CVL eliminated the Bandits with a 14-7 victory that ended Abilene’s season at 19-7.

Both teams pushed across two runs in their first at bats but CVL added three more in the third, five in the fourth and four in the sixth for the win. CVL had 15 hits in the game.

Abilene managed to score a single run in the fourth and two times in the sixth and seventh but could only muster six hits in the loss.

Loader led Abilene’s attack with two hits and two RBI. Michael McClanahan had a double while Burton, Wells and Cottone had hits. Adams and Burton recorded RBI’s for Abilene.

Loader was tagged with the loss allowing five earned runs on seven hits through three innings. He walked two and struck out four. Taylor pitched the next two and one-third giving up three runs on five hits. Wells completed the game for Abilene allowing two unearned runs on three hits.

Contact Ron Preston at

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