JANESVILLE—The Beloit Senior Legion baseball team is more than used to the opposing team trotting out its pitching ace in order to shut them down.

The Bandits, whose entire roster is made up of players from Beloit Turner, had to face Catholic Memorial’s ace Rory Fox in the WIAA Division 2 regional final as the Trojans.

Turner lost the pitchers’ duel 3-1 to Fox, who will continue his playing career at Notre Dame.

Janesville sent first-team all-Big Eight Conference starter Patrick Schork to the mound Sunday against Beloit, and when the Bandits started getting on base it sent out Jack Ryan, another first-team selection.

Beloit head coach Brad Farrell said Janesville must have been getting a little nervous to send out Ryan to finish off the game.

“Ryan’s a good pitcher,” he said. “Both kids from Janesville threw really well, and we had some chances to get some scores on them.”

Farrell added that it is encouraging to see an opponent start its best pitcher against the Bandits, even if it results in a loss.

“That gives a lot of credit to the kids,” Farrell said. “Sometimes in baseball things don’t go your way, but you still have to adapt and adjust. They come ready, and they do what they gotta do to get things done. But sometimes it just doesn’t fall in our favor.”

Sunday’s game did not fall into Beloit’s favor as it lost 9-4 to Janesville in the finale of the weekend tournament held at Riverside Park.

The Bandits went 2-2 in the season-opening tournament. They won 13-7 Friday against Middleton, lost a tight one 4-2 against Hartland in game one on Saturday and bounced back in game two with a commanding 13-4 win over Waukesha.

“These guys are still battling away,” Farrell said. “They’re still a great team. And we just need to kind of step it up a little bit.”

The Bandits got on the board first Sunday after Konner Giddley walked, Michael Cook singled him to third and Connor Hughes grounded out to bring him home.

Cook, Beloit’s starting pitcher, ran into trouble early on Sunday. He struggled to find command early as he hit the first batter, who scored on a double. A wild pitch moved the runner to third, and he scored on a single.

The Bandits’ defense also had its struggles in the first after an overthrown ball to first allowed a runner to score and another throw to first was low and in the dirt, prolonging the inning.

Farrell said the miscues are a result of the young season.

“These guys haven’t played much baseball since the high school season ended,” he said. “It’s early in the season. So, we have to practice with it a bit.”

Beloit found itself down 4-1 after the first but got a run back in the third after Hughes tripled to deep center field and a wild pitch scored him.

Cook ran into trouble once again in the fourth. An infield single put a runner on, who then advanced to second on an infield error and scored on a single. A triple cleared the bases, and Janesville surged ahead 8-2.

The Bandits tried to rally in the seventh after Will Lauterbach hit an RBI double. but Brody Berg lined out into a double play to the first baseman.

Farrell said that they “had trouble swinging the bat a little bit.”

“We had 12 strikeouts,” he said. “Four of them were looking. When you get into a game of that magnitude, you have to not leave the bat on your shoulder and be aggressive at the plate.”

Aggression is a trait that Farrell has been trying to drive into the Bandits.

Beloit already has 17 stolen bases this season, and it has only had one runner caught stealing.

“We’re going to be aggressive at the plate,” Farrell said. “And we’re going to be aggressive on the bases. They’re reading the pitcher pretty well, and they’re getting good secondary leads and good jumps on the pitch.”

Cook took the loss Sunday after pitching five innings and allowing 13 hits and nine runs, eight of them earned.

• UP NEXT: The Bandits host Genoa City Tuesday at 5:45 p.m. at field three at the YMCA Youth Sports Complex.

Recommended for you