Landis named MVP …again

Thomas Landis earned his tenth MVP award, as he was presented with the trophy at the General Assembly on December 9. Landis led the Challengers with a .448 batting average, four homers, 19 doubles, 47 hits and a .743 slugging percentage. He also finished second in RBI’s with 28 and was credited with two wins and one save in 35 innings pitched. Tobias Siegrist set team-leading marks with four homers, 41 RBI’s and a .496 on-base percentage and finished second with a .407 batting average, 46 hits and 16 doubles, earning him the Best Batter award. Harry Bregy walked away with his second Best Pitcher award after receiving the trophy already in 2005, going 6-4 with a 3.12 ERA (4th best in Challengers history) and 75 strikeouts in 78 innings pitched. Outfielder Chris Palatinus was named Best Fielder and Thomas Blank Most Improved Player. Former vice-president Chris Palatinus was awarded with the certificate for voluntary service in sports from the Zürcher Kantonalverband für Sport (ZKS).

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Cards clinch title

After losing the first two games of the best-of-five Championship Series against the Bern Cardinals, the C’s needed to win Game 3 on Saturday at Bern to prolong their season. In front of a big crowd and the Swiss National Television, the C’s showed their best perfomance during the Series. But Cards pitcher Severin Fries quieted Zurich’s bats for the most part, as he went the distance, tossing a complete game shutout. The Cards took an early 2-0 lead on a misplayed rundown by the Challengers’ defense and cruised to a 4-0 victory. Harry Bregy allowed three runs, taking his fourth loss of the season. Congratulations to the Cardinals for winning their third consecutive Swiss Championship and their fourth overall.

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Swiss Cup Quarterfinal

The 2007 Swiss Cup quarterfinals will take place this weekend, as the Challengers will face the Embrach Rainbows on Sunday at 2pm at the Heerenschürli. The C’s lost against the Rainbows surprisingly 7-8 last year in round 3. The winner of Sunday’s game will advance to the final four weekend, which will take place on August 18 & 19 at Therwil. The other quartefinal matchups are Geneva Dragons vs. Therwil Flyers, Bern Cardinals vs. Hünenberg Unicorns and Zurich Barracudas vs. Lausanne Indians.

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Challengers split with Flyers

On Sunday, the Challengers split their doubleheader with the Therwil Flyers. In Game 1, the Flyers set the tone early on by scoring nine times in the first three innings, going on to win 19-13. Too many defensive blunders were to big of a burden to overcome for Thomas Burger and his team. In Game 2, the Challengers used some timely hitting to hand Nelson Vilomar a 9-4 defeat. Both the Challengers and Flyers now stand at 8-4, sharing second place in the standings.

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Challengers even record

The Challengers evened their record at 2-2 with two wins against the Reussbuhl Eagles. Game 1 lasted only seven innings as the Challengers won 15-5 on the mercy rule. Thomas Landis picked up the win and also collected seven RBI’s at the plate. Game 2 took 11 innings to find a winner. Harry Bregy tossed seven strong innings, giving up only a two-run shot to Dario D’Angelo. The Challengers rallied and tied the game in the eighth inning off American pitcher Saskin. In the 11th inning, a passed ball enabled Chris Palatinus to score the winning run with one out. This brings the Challengers back into the race for the Championships. Next weekend is off for the Swiss Cup where the Challengers have a bye in the first round.

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False start

In a disastrous start to the 2007 campaign, the Challengers got hammered by the Bern Cardinals 14-4 and 18-0. While bad defense ruined any chances for a win in Game 1, the Challengers’ offense got shut down by John Baum in Game 2 who tossed a perfect game, which ended after six innings on the mercy rule. Now the Challengers have to go over their books and try to fix their holes. Help is on the way as coach Andy Fleischacker will arrive on Monday, and Patrick Zöllig will return to the lineup for the Challengers’ next doubleheader. Saentis Zeller will return by mid-May after sitting out his suspension, and Joel Cox is on the way of returning to the lineup from his injury. Furthermore,  talks have started with possible new pitching candidates who would join the rotation.

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Swiss Cup 2006: Bows upset Challengers

The Challengers are out of this year’s Swiss Cup competition after losing 8-7 to the underdogs Embrach Rainbows. The Challengers managed to score only in two innings against Roger Savoldelli, and starter Thomas Burger was roughed up for four runs in the first inning. The Challengers trailed all day and couldn’t recover, missing the Swiss Cup Semis for the first time ever.

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