By Margaret Stadtwald
On Saturday, August 11th, the Muscatine Roadrunners lost 11-1 to the Norway Bandits at Norway in a six-inning game. The loss eliminated them from the second round of the 2018 Iowa Amateur Baseball League playoffs and dashed their playoff aspirations for a second year in a row. The Roadrunners hoped for a come from behind win, but a three-run homer in the fourth inning broke the game open for the Bandits and led to their eventual victory. “We had good pitchers,” said coach Rich Harmsen, “but [the Bandits] were ready to hit fastballs.”
Reflecting on the game, Harmsen felt the age difference between the Bandits and Roadrunners ultimately led to their defeat. He elaborated,” [the Bandits] had a lot of players who played ball at four-year schools and just graduated. As guys get to be four or five years out [of school], their skills deteriorate and it’s hard for them to keep up.”
However, Harmsen feels confident that the team will continue to sharpen the skills of their current players, and that he and head coach Randy Rosa will find young recruits to invigorate the team. Harmsen feels the tried and true Cubs slogan, “wait until next year’, suits the current Roadrunners team. While the saying acknowledges the struggles, the team faced in this year’s playoffs, it also reminds fans that, like the Cubs, the Roadrunner’s championship drought will end eventually, and they will take their place as Iowa Amateur Baseball League champions.