BANDITS TAKE EXHIBITION OPENER
New Bandits Head Coach Kevin Jordan knows a thing or two about success in the ABL. The former Major League veteran won both the ABL MVP and batting title in his inaugural season playing for Brisbane in 1993.
“I can’t overstate how important it is to start off on the right foot,” Jordan said. “Tonight was a great first step.”
Thursday’s exhibition game at the RNA Showgrounds found players, staff and supporters eagerly anticipating the second season of the new ABL with the first pitch thrown at 7:05pm. Jordan, in his first season at the helm with the Bandits, led his team to a 6-3 victory over the Brisbane All-Stars. The All-Stars, a collection of players from local and regional competitions, were a formidable group and gave the eager Bandits a work out.
The Bandits, who took the field looking sharp in their new look white uniforms, were led on the mound by two pitchers – one a familiar face and one brand new – who will be counted on to supply key innings for the team this year.
Brisbane native Simon Morriss got the start for the Bandits and didn’t allow a base runner while striking out four in his two perfect frames. From there, Alex Maestri, Brisbane’s newest import from Italy, pitched two scoreless innings in relief, striking out five in the effort.
Ryan Battaglia, the Bandits young catcher, lead the offensive output, tallying a huge 4 for 4 night while driving in two. In the second inning, veteran outfielder Wade Dutton jumpstarted the Bandits offense with a long solo homerun to left field.
Long-locked fan favorite Chris Mowday closed the game for Bandits, pitching a hitless eight and ninth innings.
“We’ve got a lot to be excited about here in Brisbane,” said Jordan. “Tonight was a good reminder. As they say, hope springs eternal.”
Last night gave supporters a good reason to look forward to the upcoming season. The Bandits will host their annual Fanfest on Saturday, the 29th of October starting at 12 PM. Fanfest is a free community day for all fans, friends and supporters and with all players and coaches in attendance signing autographs and taking pictures.
The first regular season game is November 10th at 7 PM versus the Sydney Blue Sox.