The Dallas Bandits- McFadden 14U (pictured above) rallied in the championship game of the USSSA Moneyball Tournament in McKinney, Texas, to score three runs and win in walk off fashion over the Riders (TX) this past weekend. This was the Bandits’ first USSSA tournament title in 2018 and capped an impressive run where they went 4-0-1 overall and outscored opponents by a combined 30-14.
This 14-Open division featured 16 total teams, all from the Lonestar state, with three 13-Major teams playing up: Sucio Baseball, Texas Desperados- Walton and the Texas Sharks. Each squad played two pool play games before the top 9 were seeded into a Gold Bracket single-elimination phase.
Manager Justin McFadden’s team faced a stiff test in their first pool game against Maddog Baseball 14u Red. But behind the pitching from Jack Hettrick who pitched three innings and Jake Carvajal who contributed two solid frames, the Bandits were victorious 4-2. The next pool game, against the 23-16 DFW Bombers turned out to be a rarity in youth baseball: a 0-0 tie. Neither team could scratch across a run, while Bandits starting pitcher Chris Collins went the distance (5 innings) to be the standout of the game.
Despite their tie, the Bandits earned the third overall seed heading into the bracket phase. They were behind the two 2-0 teams, the NTX Eagles and the Marshals. As the seeding shook out, the Bandits were matched up again with the DFW Bombers, this time in an elimination game.
The whole complexion of this contest was must different than the first. The Bandits were able to breakthrough for nine runs and blanked the Bombers’ offense yet again. This time it was pitcher Austin Schnurr who stymied the bats for a full five innings. In the semifinals, the Bandits faced off against one of the previously-undefeated teams, the Marshals from McKinney, Texas – the host city. In a high-scoring affair, the Bandits out slugged the Marshals 10-6. Pitching duties were split between three Bandits led by Pierce Quiroga (3.1 IP), and Jack Hettrick (1 IP).
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The championship game against the Riders (Frisco) was an intense matchup. The Bandits rallied in the bottom of the final inning to score 3 runs and win in a walk off. This was the last regular tournament action this team would play together at the youth level before this week’s AAYBA World Series.
The Bandits now have an overall record of 14-9-2 including a mark of 6-2-2 In Class. Against 14-Major teams, they hold their own. In 12 total games they are 5-7 and only allow an average of just over 4 runs per game. This is a team that relies on its pitching and defense to collect victories.