At Shelby, N.C., the Idaho Falls Bandits kept their historic season rolling along with a 4-0 win Saturday over Shrewsbury (Mass.) to move to 2-0 at the American Legion World Series.
Randon Hostert, Bruer Webster and Jaxon Sorenson combined for the three-hit shutout as the Bandits improved to a program-best 58-6-1.
The defense was also sharp as Sorenson made a diving stop at first base and threw to Hostert for the final out in the first inning, third baseman Caden Christensen threw to Sorenson for the final out in the second inning, and shortstop Alex Cortez threw across his body to Sorenson to end the third inning. Sorenson, a junior-to-be at Idaho Falls who’s verbally committed to Gonzaga, made a catch over his shoulder at second base in the fifth inning.
“We’re very versatile on defense and it shows,” Sorenson said in a press release. “In a game like this where the offense slumps we need to get outs.”
Hostert earned the win on the mound and was pulled after 60 pitches in 3 2/3 innings.
Sorenson got the save, relieving Webster with the bases loaded and one out.
The Bandits had six hits, but coach Ryan Alexander said the typically potent offense has to be more productive going forward in the tournament.
“From this point forward we have to start putting more barrels to the baseball and give ourselves a better chance to score runs,” Alexander said by phone, noting the Bandits have benefited from some timely hitting and opponent miscues so far in the tournament.
The team’s pitching depth is still in good shape for multiple games, Alexander said. Hostert would be able to start a potential championship game on Tuesday and Caden Christensen, who started the first game, could come back on Monday. But first, the Bandits will have to get past local favorite North Carolina in Sunday’s pool play finale.
A win would earn the Bandits the top spot in their pool and a berth in the tournament semifinals. A loss could set up a potential tie-breaker scenario, depending on the North Dakota vs. Massachusetts outcome. If North Dakota wins and the Bandits lose, there would be a three-way tie at 2-1. Alexander said in that scenario, the tie-breaker rules are 1. Runs allowed, 2. Runs scored and 3. A coin flip. If two teams finish 2-1, then head-to-head is the tie-breaker.
As for Saturday’s game, Andrew Gregersen went 2 for 2 with an RBI and a stolen base to lead the Bandits at the plate. Idaho Falls plays Randolph County (N.C.) today with first pitch scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Mountain Time. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.
IDAHO FALLS BANDITS 4, SHREWSBURY 0
Shrewsbury 000 000 0--0 3 3
I.F. 021 001 x--4 6 0
SHREWSBURY--Pitchers: West 5.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 6 K, 1 BB; Troio 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 K, 0 BB. Leading hitters: Hopping 2-2. 2B: Hopping.
IDAHO FALLS--Pitchers: Randon Hostert 3.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 K, 1 BB; Bruer Webster 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 K, 2 BB; Jaxon Sorenson 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 K, 0 BB. Leading hitters: Andrew Gregersen 2-3. RBI: Gregersen, Kai Howell, Bruer Webster. SB: Gregersen, Tavyn Lords.