The Challengers Juniors proved again that they hold the most talent in the juniors league by beating the Therwil Flyers twice in the 2008 finals and finishing the season perfect. And what a game it was! The C’s ace, Korey Kovac got off to a great start as usual giving up an unearned run in the first after a high pop up was dropped in the outfield. The Challengers offence came back in the first and scored to tie it up 1-1. The next inning was also a pitchers duel as both teams ace’s had three up-three down innings. Therwil decided to reserve their #1 arm for the last inning and went to their #2 guy, that move turned out to be the spark which lit the C’s offence.
Carl Varnauskas showed his speed by easily tuning long singles into doubles. The Challengers strategy was simple; if we don’t get doubles we will be stealing our way to second… quickly. And that is exactly what happened! Not one base runner was picked off, which constantly put runners in scoring position. One of the days biggest surprises was when Danilo Schneider turned a hard hit double into a four bagger. Danilo recognized the outfielders bobble and took off for third, as the third base coach noticed that the outfielder lobbed in the ball he quickly reacted and sent Schneider home. Rookie Migel Angerer also turned out to be a valuable addition to the Challengers as he hit a towering double to dead center which fell only about three feet short of a home run. The first game turned out to be a 19-1 blow out.
The second Game started almost identically as the first two innings where close. The Cadets stayed focused while coach Shemley constantly screamed, “we are still in 2nd place, no sleeping”. All in all the finals were a reflection of how the Cadets played the whole season, they not only out-hit their opponent, they out-pitched, -ran and -fielded them. The Challengers won the second game 9-0.
The kids also showed off their gloves and made it clear why they go by the slogan of “The only team that can beat the Challengers is the Challengers” by only committing two errors. Catcher Gabe Staub also made it clear that he is one of Switzerland’s most promising players. Not only did he let it be known that he is almost mature enough to call his own games he also threw out all runners and even came up with the game ending pickoff in the second game.
Let’s just hope they are able to keep on working out hard and follow up with another outstanding season in 2009.