Finally the 2023 season has started with the rematch of last year’s finals. And it was a nail biter – with the Challengers finding themselves at the wrong end. The reigning champion Therwil Flyers took the opener 8-7 in extra innings and rallied for a 7-3 win in Game 2.
Säntis Zeller had the honor of scoring the first run of the season, while Regis Reinhard had it’s first RBI in a Challengers uniform. After the Flyers scored three runs in the bottom half of the first, Simon Steffen and Adam Greenberg tied the game again thanks to a sac fly by Zeller and a RBI-triple by Leonel Sosa Marte. While the Challengers stranded two runners at least in the next few innings, the Flyers sneaked off to a 6-3 lead and still had a three run lead after eight innings. Last chance for the Challengers and indeed James Sanders with a RBI-double and Leonel Sosa Marte with a 2-run-double sent the game to extra innings. And with no outs the C’s had the bases loaded, but weren’t able to cash in. Completely different the Flyers. David Castillo launched the second pitch of the tenth frame to a walk off RBI-single.
It was a story of missed chances. The Challengers outhit their opponent 12-7 and drew 11-4 walks but stranded a total of 20 batters, but once more the Flyers walked away with the win. Leonel Sosa Marte started the season with a four-hit game and was a homer shy of the cycle, James Sanders had three hits, while Simon Steffen allowed three earned runs in seven innings pitched.
Zeller again scored the first run in Game 2. And it even got better for the Challengers. Marco Limacher belted a 2-run homer over the center field fence for a 3-1 lead in the fourth frame. But the Flyers answered immediately with a walk, two hit batters, two singles, an error and two walks with the bases loaded to score five runs. They added another run in the fifth to eventually win 7-3.