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Bandits Capture 2002 Championship in San Antonio

The Bandits traveled the furthest and came back with the biggest prize winning the River City Shootout in San Antonio Texas. Seven of the 9 teams had preseason state rankings ranging from the #1 Houston Renegades who did not make it to the finals to the #22 San Angelo Colts. The Bandits beat two teams ranked in the top 7 in the state in preseason rankings the San Antonio Gators 5-0 and the Houston Woodlands Banditos 9-1 completely shocking and suprising the other tournament entries in pool play. The Bandits clearly were handed the toughest schedule in pool play but finished as the #1 seed.
In the semi-finals, Jonathan Bustamante tossed a 1-hit shutout allowing no walks and striking out 3 and led the Bandits to a 8-0 win over the McAllen Marlins. Anthony Carmona, Steve Vizcaino, Albert Pinon and Isaac Herrera were perfect at the plate to pace the offense. Bobby Mares and Kyle Bumpas each went 1-2. Carmona had a double driving in 2 runs and Pinon had a triple. The Bandits defense had no errors in the game.
In the finals, the Bandits defeated the San Angelo Colts 8-5. Julio Velez pitched through various challenges including a 0-3 deficit. Down 3-0 in the bottom of the third, the Bandits answered with a “four spot” sparked by the top of the order and key hits by Bumpas, Matthew Ortega and Velez. In the bottom of the 4th, Bandits again marked a “four spot” on the board capped off by a bases loaded triple by George Stoltz to take the lead for good. The Colts scored a run in the top of the fifth but the game ended due to time limit in the bottom of the fifth. Velez struck out 8 batters and was the winning pitcher.
The Bandits finished with a perfect 4-0 mark in the tournament. Houston Woodlands finished with a 3-1 mark losing only to the Bandits 8-1 on Saturday. The #1 ranked Houston Renegades were eliminated in the semi-finals. The San Antonio Gators lost to Houston Woodlands in the other division 7-6 in extra innings. The Bandits played all 3 teams who appeared in the finals and were clearly the TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS. GREAT JOB GUYS AND THANKS PARENTS AND FAMILY FOR YOUR SUPER SUPPORT!