Split for the 1st League-Team

After the U18 European Championship qualifier, which took place from Monday to Saturday in the Heerenschürli ballpark, Sweden won the tournament with a clear victory in the final against Lithuania, local creativity was in demand again. The 1st League teams of the Challengers and the Lucerne Eagles faced each other. Whereby the Challengers lined up with a U18 team as well to match the European Championship. After a wild back-and-forth throughout the day, the two teams ultimately shared the points fraternally.
In game 1 the Challengers weren’t able to keep three leads. The pitchers, with no fewer than 15 walks, gave their defense little opportunity to get out of trouble with successful plays. So the encounter was lost 17-19. But the Challengers kept the better end in the second game with a 16-14 win.

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1st League-Team stays at .500

In the extremely balanced eastern group of the regional league, the Zurich Barracudas, the Zurich Eighters and the Zurich Challengers also shared the wins on Sunday. All three Zurich clubs have a .500 record and share second place.
With many Swiss baseball fans attending the London Series between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals this weekend, the rosters were thin. For the Challengers even the coaches Oliver Freigang and Nico Bucher had to go on the field.
In the first game of the day against the Zurich Barracudas, the teams moved in step for a long time. The Barracudas went ahead each time, the Challengers were able to counter each time. Except in the last inning, where the C’s scored only two runs to make it 9-11 walking away with a loss. Jacob Stotz led the offense with three hits, Jasper Freigang got two hits.
The Challengers did even better in Game 2. After three innings they were already leading 14-1 against the Zurich Eighters. In the end it was a comfortable 18-3 victory. Joseph Stotz and Oliver Freigang each collected four RBIs, Jasper Freigang had three hits, while Noam Müller, Fabrizio Bucher, Oliver Freigang, Jiro Kaya and Nico Bucher all contributed two hits to the win.

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Fine performance from 1st League-Team

After the Challengers had lost all of their games on Saturday, three times with one run, it was up to the 1st League-Team to get into the W column. And they did so impressively with a 7-2 win against the Zurich Eighters.
In the second inning the Challengers put up five runs, enough for pitcher Joseph Stotz to take home the win. He gave up six hits and two runs, one earned, with two walks and eight strikeouts. Oliver Bernet and Noam Müller opened the inning with two singles before Jacob Stotz loaded the bases after a hit-by-pitch. A passed ball, a double from Jasper Freigang, an error from the Eighters defense and an RBI groundout from Philip Louis made it 5-0. Two more runs in the fifth inning led to the final score of 7-2.
In the second game of the day, the Challengers faced the SG Wittenbach-Romanshorn/Wil Devils. At the last meeting the C’s have been rolled over with a 0-20. The offense of the eastern Swiss was again extremely productive at the beginning and after two innings they already had a 11-3 lead. But the Challengers caught themselves and initially stopped the flood of runs with good defense before they scored five runs themselves in the fifth inning to make it 8-14.

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Softball Derby in Rümlang

On Saturday, the first Zurich Softball derby of the season will take place in Rümlang between the Zurich Barracudas and the Zurich Challengers. It is also the duel behind the reigning champion Wittenbach. The Challengers are in third place with four wins and two losses, while the Barracudas are still clean sheets after four games played. The games will take place at 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in Rümlang Rümelbach.
The U15-Cadets will also be in action on Saturday. They will meet the Hünenberg Unicorns and the Rümlang Kobras in Hünenberg. The Challengers will look to maintain their unbeaten run this season. The games start at 10 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. in Hünenberg Rony.
On Saturday evening there will also be a rematch of the NLB Zurich derby between the Zurich Barracudas Academy and the Zurich Challengers in the Heerenschürli ballpark. The game starts at 6 p.m.
The 1st League-Team concludes the game day. The third team of the Challengers welcomes the Zurich Eighters and the SG Wittenbach-Romanshorn/Wil Devils to the Heerenschürli ballpark on Sunday, June 4th. Games start at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

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1st League-Team rallies for Win

The Challengers U15-Cadets traveled to Wittenbach with some reinforcements under the label “1st League Team”, where they played against the SG Pirates/Lions and against the SG Wittenbach-Romanshorn/Wil Devils. Thanks to an unbelievable 12-run rally in the last inning, they even got the win against the SG Pirates/Lions.
For a long time there were no indications of the dramatic turnaround. With a score of 0-8 after four innings and 3-9 after six innings, the Challengers’ hope of a W was only theoretical. But once again it was shown that in baseball all outs must be played first. After walks by Ilai Blickenstorfer and Jiro Kaya, Fabrizio Bucher started catching up with an RBI single. Various walks on loaded bases and some wild pitches from the Eastern Swiss allowed the Challengers to turn the game around before Jordi Bucher increased the lead to 15-9 with a 2-round double and Oliver Bernet Garcia with an RBI single. The Challengers gave up three more runs in the bottom half of the inning, but this was enough for a 15-12 victory.
However, that was it for the C’s. In Game 2 against the SG Wittenbach-Romanshorn/Wil Devils, two hits by Jasper Freigang were the only ones of the game for Zurich, while the home team hit through the lineup twice in the second inning and scored 15 runs in a seemingly endless frame. The final result was 20-0.

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Nighgames on Friday and Saturday Night

If the sky doesn’t open its floodgates again, two NLA night games between the Zurich Barracudas and the Zurich Challengers will take place on Friday and Saturday evening in the Heerenschürli ballpark. The first two Zurich local derbies of the season take place as a two-game series. In the head-to-head since 1994 the two cross-town rivals are tied with 65-65 wins each. Last season, however, the Challengers won all seven games in the preliminary round and in the playoff semifinals. A series that the Barracudas would surely love to end. On Friday the game will be played at 6.30 p.m., on Saturday the first pitch is at 6 p.m.
On Sunday, May 21st, the Challengers Softball-Team will face the Lucerne Eagles at the Klopstockwiese in Zurich. After two victories in Bern against the Cardinals, the Challengers will try to set the course for the top 4 in a duel with a competitor for the playoff spots. Games begin at 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
The 1st League-Team is also in action on Sunday. For the third team of the Challengers it will be a game day in Eastern Switzerland. In Wittenbach, St. Gallen, they first meet the SG Pirates/Lions before they face the SG Romanshorn-Wittenbach/Wil Devils. The Games start at 12:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

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1st League-Team starts with Split

The 1st league team has a successful start into the 2023 season. In a great 1st League game they lose to the Zürich Barracudas 4-5, but game 2 against the SG Pirates/Lions goes to the Challengers with a 15-10 score.
The Challengers, who started with no fewer than six U20 players, fought a close neck-and-neck race with their cross-town rivals. But it was the oldie in the team, Juan Francisco Robles, who scored the first Challengers run in the first inning. But the young guard followed and so Noam Blickenstorfer, who made his debut at the catcher’s position, and Nick Siemers turned the game for 3-2 Challengers lead. Then it went the Barracudas way again, who took a 4-3 lead with one run in the fourth and fifth innings each. Ilai Blickenstorfer managed to equalize again in the sixth frame after an RBI-single from Nicola Ernst. However, the Challengers were unable to answer the Barracudas fifth run in the last inning. After a double and a stolen base, Nick Siemers got to third base, but the last two Challengers batters struck out. Nick Siemers confirmed his good shape with three hits after hitting his first NLA home run the day before while he was a guest player with the Bern Cardinals. Juan Francisco Robles pitched a complete game, allowing five runs, three earned, eight hits and two walks with eight strikeouts.
In Game 2 against the SG Pirates/Lions, the Challengers quickly made things clear. Reinforced with a few prospects from the Barracudas, the Zurich team managed eleven runs in the first two innings. While Ben Dickow opened the score with an RBI-single, Niilo Benz provided the highlight from the Challenger’s perspective with a 2-run double, his first hit playing with the seniors. The Pirates/Lions came up a bit towards the end of the game, but the Challengers finally brought home the 15-10 victory.

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1st League-Team lost twice

As the only team of the Challengers organization the 1st League-Team was able to play its games on Saturday. While the games in Bern, Lucerne or Zurich have been washed out, they played ball at Dulliken. But the Challengers are still waiting for their first win after the third game day. The C’s lost to the Embrach Mustangs by a score of 3-11 and were also topped by the Dulliken TruckStar, who posted a 9-5 victory.

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Winter Practice

The winter practice for the Challengers Baseball & Softball Club starts on Monday, October 19 with a pitcher and catcher practice for the U20 and U15 players at the Schulhaus Schauenberg. The practice for the Softball-Team will take place every Tuesday at the Turnhalle Lavater, while the Baseball hitting and fielding practice will newly take place on Wednesdays at the Turnhalle Hirzenbach. For further details concerning the NLA, NLB and 1st League practices, the Softball practice and the practice for the Juniors please check the team’s pages on the Challengers website.

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