This year's European Cup took place in Stockholm, Sweden
from June 18 through 24 2001.
The Challengers' first game against the tournament favourites PUC from Paris
was called after 7 innings due to darkness with the score tied at 10-10. The
Challengers almost made the sensation perfect as the game resumed the next
day. Reliever Andy Fleischacker shut down the French offense over the next
two innings, but so were the Challengers. The game went into extra innings,
where no team scored until the bottom of the 11th inning, as the Parisians
scored the deciding run on a Texas-League popup to left field for the final
score of 11-10.
The Challengers then started their second game the same day, taking on another
country from the A-Pool, the Russian team from St.Petersburg. This game also
had to be called, this time due to heavy rain, and the Challengers managed
to stay at the Russians' heels with the Russians leading only 3-1 after four
innings. Play resumed on Thursday evening, but only after the Challengers
lost 14-8 to the local favourites, the Alby Stars. The Russians, alarmed by
the good pitching performance and their own weak defense, kickstarted their
offense and won the game 13-3.
The Challengers had a disappointing 0-3 record after their first three games
before facing the outsider team from Oslo. But the Challengers weren't able
to score off the Norwegian pitcher effectively, and were upset 15-5.
The Challengers then faced the Lithuanian team Juodasis Vikingas, hoping to
get at least one victory. The two teams played to a 7-7 tie going into the
bottom half of the ninth inning, with the Challengers being the home team.
With a runner on second and two outs, Patrick Zöllig laid down a perfect
bunt along the third base line. He was barely safe at 1st base, and Fleischacker
headed for home all the way from second base. The first baseman, in desbelief
by the call from the first base umpire, forgot to throw home, and the Challengers
took the game 8-7.
The tournament was won by the Russian team with a perfect 5-0 record, Sweden
finished second, and the French team finished a disappointing third.
The participating teams were:
|Schedule / Results
|Tuesday, June 19
|| Zürich Challengers
- Paris Université Club
|| Neva St.Petersburg - Zürich
|| Stockholm Alby Stars - Zürich
||Oslo Ballkam - Zürich
- Juodasis Vikingas