Luke Mandich pitched a complete game 5-hitter, leading the Manitowoc Bandits to a 5-1 win over the Denmark Devilbears, and securing the Shoreland League regular season crown.
The win was the 8th in a row for Coach Chris Cisler’s team and earns them the #1 seed in the Shoreland League Playoffs starting next Wednesday at home.
The Bandits trailed the Devilbears 1-0 after one inning, thanks to a leadoff double. We spoke with Mandich after the game, and asked him how he was able to calm himself down following the rocky start. He explained, “I go into every start with a plan and I trust the plan. I know it’s going to work. When I started out a little rocky, I knew I had to stick to…executing my pitches and everything was going to work out fine.”
The Green Bay native ended up tossing a complete game, scattering 5-hits with 8-strikeouts, and had a stretch where he retired 11 straight batters.Mandich received some quality defense behind him, including a tremendous diving catch in Left field by recent Manitowoc Lincoln High School graduate Will Maples to end the 1st inning. Mandich called it “extraordinary” knowing “you have a defense who is going to have your back every play.”
The Bandits turned the tide back around thanks to some solid bat work from Trent Van Ess and A-J Dollinger who each smashed one run homers. Jake Woolsey went 3-for-4 with a run scored and Maples had a pair of runs batted in as well.
Denmark starter Evan Guns took the loss.
After the win, Coach Chris Cisler said it was an impressive performance, saying “We played a solid game, no errors, and that’s what it takes to win.”
The Bandits, 11- 2 overall, have two non-conference road games remaining, including a matchup with the Menasha Macs at Dave Koslo Field this evening. The On-Deck Show begins at 7:15 on 97.1FM, WCUB and CubRadio.com.