Melendez leads River Bandits to win

Carson High's Eric Melendez helped the Western Nevada River Bandits knock off a previously unbeaten team with his pitching and hitting at the USABA 17 and Under World Series.

Melendez was the winning pitcher for the River Bandits in a 10-2 victory over the previously undefeated Auburn (Calif.) Knights on Thursday in Pasco, Wash. The River Bandits finished pool play at 3-1-1 after a 4-4 tie against the Blue Mountain Blue Sox of Walla Walla, Wash. The River Bandits were originally scheduled to play Compton, Calif. before a change in the schedule.

Melendez scattered six hits, struck out four and walked just one against Auburn in a game that was called after five innings due to the eight-run rule. He was also 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Carson's Willie Bowman went 3-for-3 with a double and three RBIs, Dayton's Matt Bowman had a hit, two runs and an RBI and Carson's Aaron Henry added a hit and a run scored.

Against the Blue Sox with the score tied 4-4 in the fourth inning, Henry nailed a runner trying to score from second on a base hit to left field. Catcher Drew Olivero of Manogue then threw to Reno High's Steve Mays to nail the runner trying to advance to second for a 7-2-6 double play. The play was key because a double followed before a groudball ended the inning.

The River Bandits took a 3-1 lead in the second when Melendez was hit by a pitch and Galena's Brian Evans walked. After a sacrifice bunt, Melendez scored on a wild pitch and Evans scored on Henry's single. Reed's Lucas DeLong had two hits and two runs for the River Bandits, which begin play in the double elimination tournament today.

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