Fredonia Bandits win travel league 11U championship

Submitted Photo The Fredonia Bandits are pictured. Front row, left to right: Andrew Kinney, Brady Helmer, Calvin Frazier, Luca Gullo, Charlie Domenico, Matt Cowan and Ryan Kelly. Second row: Aiden Czekanski, Nathan Sercu, Colin Crowell, Owen Rush, Andrew Cowan, Charlie Parker and Ashton Putney. Back row: Coaches Sean Helmer, Tim Cowan and Jim Rush.

ORCHARD PARK — The Fredonia Bandits are the champions of the Southtowns Travel Baseball League’s 11u Division after winning three games over two days in Orchard Park last weekend.

On Saturday, in the quarterfinals, the Bandits broke a 9-9 tie with West Seneca in the bottom of the fifth inning when Andrew Kinney drew a walk and later scored on a two-out wild pitch. Nathan Sercu broke the game open when he cracked a two-run double in the sixth and pitched a perfect seventh – leading to a 17-10 win. Matt Cowan, Owen Rush (three RBI), and Andrew Cowan contributed two hits each while Ashton Putney and Brady Helmer each drove in two runs. Pitching for the Bandits, Rush struck out five over the first three innings with Putney picking up the win with two strikeouts over the next three innings.

In Sunday’s semifinals, the Bandits defeated Eden 13-5. Rush (double) and Kinney had two hits each while Putney, Sercu, and Andrew Cowan each scored two runs. Doubling for Fredonia was Matt Cowan, Helmer, and Colin Crowell while Charlie Parker reached base three times. Rush picked up the win allowing only one run over the first three innings. Sercu earned the save — entering a 7-4 game with the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the sixth and proceeding to strike out the side in order.

The championship game saw the Bandits jump all over Central Amherst with a seven-run first inning — led by Rush’s towering three-run home run. Ryan Kelly paced the offense with three hits and three RBI. Matt Cowan, Andrew Cowan (two runs), Helmer (three RBI) and Aiden Czekanski (two RBI) each had two hits while Luca Gullo, Calvin Frazier, and Charlie Domenico each reached base — helping the team race out to a 15-1 lead. Sercu (win, 3 Ks), Helmer (3 Ks) and Putney (2 Ks) were dominant on the mound for the Bandits — who would secure the championship by a final score of 16-6.

This is the first time in the rich history of the Southtowns league that an entire age group competed in the same division – making the Bandits a true 11u champion.