News and Announcements

Position Player of the Week
Thomas Kempf, Bancroft
1B — Jr. — University of Dubuque

For the first time this summer, the Bancroft Bandits have a Player of the Week winner! University of Dubuque’s Thomas Kempf was named Position Player of the Week! On the week, Kempf went 4-11 (.364) with a home run while driving in four runs. He also crossed the plate three times himself.

“He is a great kid, works hard and every at-bat he grinds and goes to the plate with a purpose,” Bandits head coach Dave Walsh says. “When he is hitting, the whole team hits around him!”

Kempf helped lead the Spartans of Dubuque (26-17) to Division III Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) regular season title, conference tournament title, and winning a game in the regional round of the NCAA Division III tournament. Kempf hit a solid .345 on the year and driving in 32 runs for the Spartans.

This upcoming week has the Bandits (4-12) and the Lakers (14-2) squaring off twice. July 4th in Bancroft (6:35 first pitch) and July 5th in Albert Lea (6:35 first pitch).

Pitcher of the Week
Cesar Capellan, Albert Lea
RHP — Jr. — Eastern New Mexico

For the third consecutive week the Lakers have Player of the Week honors, but the first pitcher to be named Pitcher of the Week. The Eastern New Mexico University right-hander, Cesar Capellan, was named Pitcher of the Week as voted on by the League’s coaching staffs after dominating in his start this past week. Capellan (6’4), is a native of Bonoa, Dominican Republic.

During his start this week, Capellan went a solid 6.0 innings and picked up the win for the Lakers; helping Albert Lea to extend their win streak into double digits. In his six innings of work, he punched out nine hitters while only surrendering four hits and two runs!

“Cesar has done a great job for us and is a shut down power arm. He’s a professional baseball type arm with a good fastball and good breaker,” says Lakers head coach Michael Keeran. “If he can be more consistent from inning to inning he could do some pretty special things!”

On the summer, Capellan has been a real reliable guy on the mound for the Lakers. He has started four games and has a record of 3-0 with an ERA of 2.49. A strikeout to walk ratio of 2.4:1 (26 Ks and 11 BBs).

This upcoming week has the Lakers (14-2) and the Bandits (4-12) squaring off twice. July 4th in Bancroft (6:35 first pitch) and July 5th in Albert Lea (6:35 first pitch).

Don’t miss the quality PCBL baseball action; follow the league on Twitter — @Pioneer_Ball.

Article written by Steve Carlson, Simpson College (IA).

Late Rally Not Enough For Bandits

Posted by Bancroft Bandits at Jun 4, 2017 11:01PM PDT
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The Carroll Merchants have had a wild start to the 2017 summer. Three games in three days, decided by three runs combined. It was another barn-burner for the Merchants as they finished their two day road trip with a visit to Bancroft and the Bandits.

Zack Ruckman’s single, his fourth hit of the game, in the top of the ninth was the difference as he drove in a pair of runs to lead the Merchants to a 10-9 victory.

It was textbook baseball during the ninth inning rally, as Ben Kiefer worked a leadoff walk which was followed up by an error that allowed Bradley Sanford on base. Mitchell McCallister executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position before the game-winning hit.

Carroll was in cruise control early on, they led 5-0 after the top of the fifth. That’s when the bats came alive for the home team.
Jace Komminsk, just entering the game, hit a solo home run to cut the deficit to 5-1.

Moments later, Kaelen Dowling got in on the fun and crushed a solo home run of his own to right field.

Merchants starter, Tyler Buchanan would throw six strong innings allowing just three runs on four hits and a pair of walks. He struck out nine Bandits in his season debut.

The seventh inning is where the Bandits made their comeback, showing great patience at the plate, Bancroft managed to string together three walks and a single before William Bierlein’s double made the game 8-7. Two batters later Alex Remy delivered a single to left that scored Ben Wilkins and Bierlein that gave Bancroft their first lead of the day.

In the bottom of the ninth, Jeremy Thorson got himself into a jam as the bases were loaded with just one out. The right-hander from Duluth, Minnesota was able to get Dowling to hit into a fielders choice as Ruckman threw out the potential tying run at the plate. Thorson then struck out Colin Brophy to end the game and secure the Merchants’ second win of the season.

In addition to his game winning hit, Ruckman finished 4 for 5, with a double, a run scored and five RBI. McCallister finished with a pair of hits, including a double of his own. Ben McConnell, Sean Moore and Keifer all had knocked in a run in the win.

Komminsk had three hits for the Bandits, including his home run. Bo Fricks had a very good day at the plate, going 2 for 5, with a RBI and scoring twice himself. Remy, off the bench, went 2 for 2 with a couple RBI. Brophy also finished with two hits in the loss.

Both of these teams will play at home on Wednesday night when the Merchants host the Albert Lea Lakers while the Bandits will welcome the Storm Lake Whitecaps.

Bancroft Blanks Albert Lea

Posted by Bancroft Bandits at Jun 2, 2017 10:33PM PDT
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BANCROFT, Iowa – The second season of baseball in the town of Bancroft started off with a bang! A dominant performance from the Bandit pitching staff and dazzling debut from Joey Machuga resulted in a 6-0 Bandits victory at Bancroft Memorial Park on Friday night.

After a one-two-three Top of the 1st, the Bandits loaded the bases with a pair of singles and a walk. Ben Wilkins drove in the game’s first run as he reached on a fielder’s choice. After William Bierlein was hit by pitch the pond was full again. That would lead to Brandon Dodd walk, increasing the Bandit lead.

Bancroft would get their third and final run of the 1st inning as Alex Remy grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Wilkins.

Machuga would notch his 2nd hit of the night in the very next inning, a one-out double scored Colin Brophy, increased the lead to 4-0 and ended the night for Albert Lea starting pitcher Blake Bagenstos.

From there, the arms of the Bandits were the ones taking care of business. Starter Ryan Swanson threw four solid innings allowing just three hits, only allowing a single walk and struck out five. For as remarkable as Swanson was, Kodie Bowen may have been even better. He sat down eight batters over the next four innings, allowing just one baserunner during that time.

Bancroft would add some insurance in the bottom half of the 8th inning as Remy scored on a wild pitch and Brophy scored on Machuga’s second double of the evening.

The Lakers would make things interesting in the 9th, as they loaded the bases against Jack Spicer. However, he would get Clarke Peterson to ground out to end the game.

These two teams meet again tomorrow night, the first game at Hayek Field for the Albert Lea Lakers as they will look to get into the win column, while the Bandits have their eyes on a two-game sweep.

Bandits Add Garrett Christiansen

Posted by Bancroft Bandits at Apr 7, 2017 9:43AM PDT
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The Bancroft Bandits are proud to announce the signing of Garrett Christiansen.

Christiansen, a pitcher from Las Vegas, Nevada, is currently in his junior season at Cal State San Bernardino. He has made four appearances this season and has an ERA of just 1.69, giving up one earned run in 5.1 innings on the mound. His best outing cam on March 15th, as he pitched two shutout innings against Concordia, allowing a single hit.

Christiansen enjoyed an extremely successful junior college career at McCook Community College. As a sophomore, he went 5-5 with a 3.95 ERA in 68.1 innings on the hill. He struck out 83 batters while doing some damage of his own at the plate, hitting a pair of home runs and driving in 17. In his freshman campaign, Christiansen was 2-2, posting an ERA of 3.41 in 31.2 innings pitched. He hit three home runs and drove in 22 on his way to being named the school’s athlete of the year.

The Bandits are excited to welcome Garrett to Bancroft for the 2017 season.

Bandits Add A Pair of Pitchers

Posted by Bancroft Bandits at Mar 21, 2017 12:23PM PDT
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The Bancroft Bandits are proud to announce the signing of Jacob Gilmore and Jack Spicer. Both players are pitchers for Illinois State University.

Gilmore, a freshman, is currently in his first collegiate season. He is from Bloomington, Illinois where he was four year member of the Central Catholic High School baseball team. A three-time first-team all-conference selection, Gilmore went 11-1 as a senior with a minuscule 1.32 ERA to go with 107 strikeouts. His career highlight came in Central Catholic’s regional championship, a game in which Gilmore threw a no-hitter while striking out 15. He played high school basketball for three seasons and was an honor roll student all four years.

Spicer, a redshirt junior, is also in his first season at Illinois State, growing up in Grayslake, Illinois.

Injuries have taken away parts of his collegiate career but he is hoping to return to the player he was at Central High School. He was a regional and sectional champion as a junior and a senior, getting the win on the hill in both of those games as a senior. He led his team to a third place finish in the IHSA state tournament. Spicer earned all area honors in his final year at Central while also being named the team’s most improved player.

The Bandits are excited to welcome both Jacob and Jack to Bancroft for the 2017 season!

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