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CHALLENGERS NEWSLETTER 18/2013
HOME GAME WEEKEND AHEAD
Am kommenden Wochenende werden gleich vier Partien der Challengers im Heimstadion Heerenschürli ausgetragen. Am Samstag tritt die NLA gegen den Stadtrivalen Barracudas zu einem wegweisenden Double-Header an, während am Sonntag die NLB die Flyers empfängt. Die Spiele starten jeweils um 11:00 Uhr und 14:00 Uhr.
RECAP
C's SWEPT BY CARDS AGAIN
Sunday August 4, 2013 - by Chris Palatinus
The Challengers traveled to Bern on Sunday, August 4 with high hopes. But the Cardinals showed why they are in first place. The Cardinals cruised to a 15-1 win in Game 1, before adding a 5-2 victory over the C's in Game 2. With the two wins the Cardinals swept the season series against the Challengers 4-0.
Game 1 Recap - Game 2 Recap
NLB-TEAM WINS AGAIN AT NIGHT
Tuesday August 6, 2013 - by Serge Kuenzler
The NLB-Team again walked away with a win under floodlights, as the Challengers posted a 12-6 victory over their local rivals Zürich Barracudas on Tuesday night, August 6 at the Heerenschürli ballpark. The C's also won the season series 3-1 against the Barracudas.

The team of headcoach Robert Sedin remains in fourth place with a 7-9 record. The C's will host the Therwil Flyers on Sunday, August 11.
FINALLY!! CHALLENGERS OUTLAST BARRACUDAS 9-8 IN 9 INNINGS
Tuesday July, 2013 - by Alex Gordon
It had been awhile since the NLB Challengers had been able to go home happy after one of their games (personally, I'd come home from the last two sets of games wanting to go on a 10-Canton killing-spree). In fact, the last time the Challengers went home happy after a game was back in June, after they'd put a good whuppin' on the visiting Barracudas. The two teams met again last Tuesday, and after 9 innings - and nearly 4 hours - the Challengers finally got to go home happy again.

Things got off to a bit of a slow start for the Challengers, who fell behind 2-0 early. With two outs and no one on in the top of the third, center-fielder Alex Gordon came to bat, and quickly fell behind 0-2. After working the count full, Gordon fouled off several pitches before finally driving a single to center. Shortstop Kurt Kovac followed with an easy fly to left, but the ball was misplayed by the left-fielder, giving the Challengers runners on first and third. After Kovac stole second, second-baseman Carlos Nepomuceno drove in both runners with a double to right. First-baseman Oliver Bernet then drove in Nepomuceno with a double of his own. In the span of four batters, the Challengers had gone from down 2-0 with two outs and no one on base, to up 3-2. Not too shabby!

In the bottom of the third, the Barracudas missed out on a prime scoring opportunity: After former Challenger Ueli von Burg stole second, shortstop Kovac, rather than returning to his position, remained standing near the base. Ueli never noticed and was easily picked off by pitcher Dean Scherbaum. The pick-off became even more important when Scherbaum's next pitch was lined into center for a single, which would have easily scored the runner from second.

The Challengers added to their lead in the top of the fourth. After a von Burg error allowed right-fielder Gregory Zingg to reach second, Scherbaum followed with a booming double to straight-away center, making it 4-2 for the visitors. Unfortunately, after having been gifted a run by the Barracudas, the Challengers quickly returned the favor. With one out in the bottom of the fourth, third-baseman Adderly Sarmiento committed a two-base throwing error, which turned into a run when the next batter singled, making it 4-3. The Challengers struck back quickly however: with one out, Nepomuceno tripled to right center, and later scored when Sarmiento reached on another Barracuda error. Sarmiento advanced to second on a balk - more on that later - but was left stranded.

With the Challengers leading 5-3, things really started to get exciting in the bottom of the 5th: After von Burg led off with a walk, 'Cuda Second-baseman Andreas Hug tripled to left-center, cutting the lead to 5-4. Although the exact details are a bit hazy (I was busy running after the ball), von Burg somehow managed to run into catcher Yusuke Azuma's shoulder, sending Azuma to the ground in pain (knowing von Burg, there's no doubt that it was unintentional, and Azuma was able to remain in the game). A few pitches later, play was interrupted when the Barracuda's coach - displeased that an alleged balk by Scherbaum wasn't called - proceeded to throw a temper tantrum that would have been the envy of any two-year old child. Even after being ejected, the coach continued to yell and scream in the face of the home-place umpire - who couldn't have been more than 20 years old, and was physically smaller than the coach by a significant margin - before finally getting off the field so that the game could continue. I'm sure that the coach, whose name I don't know, is super proud of himself for the sterling example of sportsmanship and class that he demonstrated, not only to his team, but also to the several young children in attendance. I'm sure his parents must be very proud.

Anyway, once the man-child had finished embarrassing himself, the game resumed - and the excitement continued: After a hit-by-pitch put runners on first and third, the next batter lofted a fly-ball to left, which was caught by Renzo Falcone. Inexplicably, the runner from third had broken for home and was about 5 feet away from the plate when the ball was caught. Falcone's throw was caught by Sarmiento, who applied the tag for the double play - ultimately allowing the Challengers to escape with minimal damage (also somewhat inexplicably, the official scorer credited the put out and assist to me...which was nice, I guess, but inaccurate).

The fireworks continued in the top of the 6th, as the Challengers quickly put runners on first and third with one out. After Gordon was drilled in the back by a fastball - his second HBP of the game - Kovac came up with the bases loaded, and promptly singled, scoring Scherbaum from third. Nepomuceno continued his big night with a 2-RBI single to right, scoring Azuma and Gordon, and sending Kovac to third. Although the Challengers couldn't push any more runs across that inning, they had managed to expand their lead to 8-4.

The Barracudas began their comeback in the bottom of the inning. After the lead-off batter reached on an error, Scherbaum surrendered back-to-back one-out hits, making the score 8-5. Oli Christen was brought on in relief, and - after a walk and a strikeout - gave up an RBI single to make it 8-6. However, Christen came back to strike out the 'Cudas' #4 hitter to retire the side. The teams traded runs in the 7th and 8th innings respectively (the Challengers' score coming on a clutch RBI single by Azuma), making the score 9-7 heading into the 9th. After Gordon was hit for the THIRD time (seriously guys, aim for the plate once in awhile!), the Challengers had the bases loaded and two outs, but Kovac was retired to end the threat.

The bottom of the 9th got off to a great start for the Challengers, as Christen quickly struck out the first two batters. With the 8 and 9 hitters coming to bat, it seemed that the game would be over soon. Of course, that would have been too easy: The next batter hit a ball up the middle that deflected off of Christen's glove and over to Nepomuceno at second, whose throw was too late to get the runner. Well, no big deal, right? Still a two run lead with two outs. After a stolen base, the next batter hit a weak grounder to short that seemed to be the game ender. Unfortunately, Kovac's wild throw couldn't be handled by Scherbaum (who had moved to first after the pitching change). The runner was safe, and a run scored, making it 9-8 Challengers and bringing up the top of the order. Crap. The next batter promptly singled, putting runners on first and third with two outs. Double crap.

At that point, after nearly four hours of play, had the the Challengers lost there was a better than average chance that this writer would have sat down in center-field and wept. Not just a few stray tears, mind you, but flat out sobbing and howling - it would have been quite a spectacle. Fortunately, Christen took matters into his own hands, striking out the next batter to end the game - and then celebrating by screaming something unintelligible in German and flinging his glove across the field towards the Challengers' dugout. It was pretty awesome. Even better - given the late hour - the Barracudas had to clean up the field! Two reasons to go home happy.
1st LEAGUE TEAM ENDS REGULAR SEASON WINLESS
Saturday August 3, 2013 - by Torbjorn OlsenPhoto Album
Photo by Dulliken Truck Stars
On saturday the SG Truck Star/Challengers played their last two games of their 2013 regular season against the Thun Hunters and Golgoths Yverdon. The games were originally supposed to be the season opener on April 13th, but ended up being played almost four months later due to two rainouts. The results were the same like all season: 2 losses. 5-15 agains Yverdon and 4-13 versus Thun.

An already weakened SG, missing experienced players due to holiday absences, recieved more nasty news on gameday, due to last minute drop outs, 2 non-showings and a sick Michel Romang, which trimmed the roster down to seven players. Truck Star Manager Rene Thommen ended up licensing veteran (and supposed Grill-Chef) Roger Wyss in record time to bring the roster up to 8 players, but that was all the team could staff together. The lineup was set up without a right fielder and with an automatic out in the 9th spot.
 
For the first game agains the Yverdon Golgoths, the SG had to improvise yet a new lineup with players at new positions. But as it turned out throughout the day, the emergency call for Jeffrey Pomuceno at Third Base might be the solution of the future.

After the Golgoths put up seven runs in their first inning, the SG didn’t waste any time getting their own offense going and put up four runs of their own before the automatic out at 9th caused the inning-ending 3rd out. At the end of five innings the score was 15-5 in favor of Yverdon.
 
During the break between the two games the SG managed to get an injured Corsin Jost from Zürich to Dulliken to fill the missing 9th spot on the roster and to man the right field position. Dullikens Philip Matter started his second game of the day on the mound before leaving the last inning to Roger Wyss. In the six innings of play the SG managed to put up four runs, but Thun‘s offense topped this out with a 13 run performance including a homerun from pitcher Thimothy Zumbrunn to win the game.
GAME PREVIEWS
BASEBALL NLA vs BARRACUDAS
Saturday August 10, 2013 - 11am & 2pm Facebook Event
The NLA-Team will host their cross-town rivals Zürich Barracudas on Saturday, August 10 for a crucial double header in the battle for the playoff spots. The Challengers (13-7) have a two game lead over the Barracudas (12-10) and could make a huge step to clinch a playoff spot with two wins in the local derby. In May the C's swept the Barracudas in a two-game series, as they won 10-3 and 5-3 in two night games. The games start at 11am and 2pm at the Heerenschürli ballpark.

Das NLA-Team empfängt am Samstag, 10. August den Lokalrivalen Zürich Barracudas zu einem vorentscheidenden Doubleheader im Kampf um die Playoffplätze. Die Challengers haben derzeit einen Vorsprung von zwei Spielen auf die Barracudas und könnten mit zwei Derby-Siegen einen grossen Schritt in Richtung Playoffs machen. Im Mai besiegten die Challengers die Barracudas in zwei Night Games mit 10-3 und 5-3. Spielbeginn ist um 11.00 und 14.00 Uhr im Baseballstadion Heerenschürli.
BASEBALL NLB vs FLYERS
Sunday August 11, 2013 - 11am & 2pm Facebook Event
The NLB-Team will take on the Therwil Flyers on Sunday, August 11 at the Heerenschürli ballpark. The C's will try to confirm the performance of their last two games against the Barracudas, while the Flyers are riding a 13-game winning streak. On April 21 the Flyers swept the Challengers, as they won 5-1 and 12-6. The games start at 11am and 2pm.

Das NLB-Team trifft am Sonntag, 11. August im Baseballstadion Heerenschürli auf die Therwil Flyers. Die Challengers werden versuchen, ihre guten Leistungen aus den letzten Spielen gegen die Barracudas zu bestätigen. Die Flyers ihrerseits sind seit dem Opening Day in 13 Partien ungeschlagen. Am 21. April gewannen sie auch beide Spiele gegen die Challengers mit 5-1 und 12-6. Die Spiele beginnen um 11.00 und 14.00 Uhr.
NEWS
U15 CADETS EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER, MIEJSKA GORKA, POLEN
Wednesday August 7, 2013 - by Serge Kuenzler
Photo by swiss-baseball.ch
Die Nationalmannschaft der U15 Cadets nahm in der vergangenen Woche an den Qualifier European Championship Cadets im polnischen Miejska Gorka teil. Die Schweiz belegte dank zwei Siegen in den beiden letzten Partien den fünften Rang.

Nach zwei knappen Spielen, die mit jeweils nur einem Run Unterschied gegen Polen und Kroatien verloren gingen, und zwei deutlichen Niederlagen gegen die beiden nachmaligen Finalisten Slowenien und Weissrussland vermochten die Eidgenossen das EM-Turnier mit zwei Erfolgserlebnissen abzuschliessen. Gegen den östlichen Nachbarn Österreich gaben die Schweizer zunächst zwar eine 6-0 Führung preis, jedoch vermochten sie dank guter Moral die Partie am Ende nochmals zu drehen. Mit einem 12-10 Erfolg beendete das Team von Headcoach Andy Fleischacker die Vorrunde mit einem 1-4 Rekord.

Im Platzierungsspiel um Rang 5 setzten die Schweizer gegen Kroatien gleich noch einen drauf. Angeführt von Pitcher Colin Bruce, der ein Complete Game warf, kamen die Schweizer zu einem nie gefährdeten 12-4 Sieg, womit auch die Revanche für die knapp verlorene Vorrundenbegegnung gelang.

Im Finale setzten sich die Weissrussen dank drei Runs im sechsten Inning letztlich mit 7-6 gegen die überraschenden Slowenen durch.

Die guten Leistungen der Schweizer schlugen sich auch in den individuellen Statistiken des Turniers nieder. So führen Regis Reinhard und Liam Spichiger mit je 9 Hits gemeinsam die Liste der meisten Hits an, Reinhard und Colin Bruce erzielten mit 11 und 10 Runs am zweit- bzw. drittmeisten Runs und Bruce gelangen mit 12 am meisten Stolen Bases des Turniers.

Link: http://score.cebeurope.com/2013/miejska/schedule.php
RESULTS
BASEBALL NLA
August 4 at Cardinals
LOST 1-15 and 2-5

BASEBALL NLB
August 6 at Barracudas
WON 12-6

BASEBALL 1. LIGA
August 4 at Hunters vs Golgoths
LOST 4-13 and 5-15

SOFTBALL NLA
No games played

CADETS
No games played

JUVENILES
No games played
NEXT GAMES
BASEBALL NLA
August 10 vs Barracudas

BASEBALL NLB
August 11 vs Flyers

BASEBALL 1. LIGA
No games scheduled

SOFTBALL NLA
August 24 at Cardinals

CADETS
No games scheduled

JUVENILES

No games scheduled
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