Juniors play in Embrach

While the fanion team will be in action at the Federation Cup in Varazdin, Croatia next week, there are four games scheduled for the Challengers Juniors on home soil in Embrach this weekend.
On Saturday the U15 Cadets welcome the SG Pirates in PZ Hard. The games start at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.. On Sunday the U12-Juveniles of the Challengers will play in Embrach as well, where they will meet the SG Mustangs/Lions. The games also start at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m..

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Two hard fought wins for the Cadets

The U15-Cadets met the SG Eagles/Unicorns on Saturday. The Central Swiss team proved to be a stubborn opponent, but the Challengers found a way to win both games. In the end the slightly greater depth in pitching was decisive.
It wasn’t the first time the Zurich team got off to a cold start this season. When the SG Eagles/Unicorns took a 3-0 lead in the third inning, the Challengers had only managed one hit but had already committed four errors. At least Ben Dickow cut the score to 1-3 with a sac fly that Jimmy Siemers scored on in the second half of the third inning. Now the wind changed. In the fourth frame, the Challengers were able to take the lead with four runs. Yannik Hobi scored on a wild pitch, Fabrice Cadalbert scored on an error by the guests and finally Fabrizio Bucher gave his colors a 5-3 lead with a 2-run single. Ben Dickow pitched the final two innings without allowing a run, securing the Challengers a hard-fought victory.
In the second game, the Challengers got going quicker. Although their early 8-2 lead was briefly threatened again when the SG Eagles/Unicorns scored the maximum of five runs in the second inning, the Zurich team responded immediately with five runs of their own to make it 13-7. They brought this lead to the finish. The defending champions ultimately won 14-10. Jasper Freigang and Fabrizio Bucher each delivered two hits and two RBI, Ben Dickow scored three runs, while Jimmy Siemers and Alex Maron each contributed two runs to the triumph.

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Busy weekend for the Challengers with all the teams in action

Next weekend all six Challengers teams will be in action. Four of them on Saturday, the NLB-Team and the U12-Juveniles on Sunday.
Three teams will play in Zurich on Saturday. The Softball-Team will welcome the Bern Cardinals on the Klopstockwiese in Zurich-Enge. The Challengers will try to maintain their winning streak, which has so far included five wins in a row. The games start at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
The NLA-Team will play a preliminary round game in the newly designed Swiss Cup against the Zurich Barracudas’ NLB-Team at 2 p.m. at the Heerenschürli ballpark. The 1st League-Team will then play a night game at 6 p.m. in the Heerenschürli ballpark against the Zurich Eighters. This is finally the first game of the season for the 3rd team of the Challengers organization. Meanwhile, the U15-Cadets will host the SG Unicorns/Eagles at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in Embrach PZ Hard.
On Sunday the U12-Juveniles will be in action on the Klopstockwiese. The Challengers’ youngest team meets the Wil Devils in the top battle of the Eastern Group. The games start at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The first pitch in the cup match for the NLB-Team will also take place at 11 a.m. The second team faces the Emrbrach Mustangs in the Heerenschürli ballpark.

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Cadets sweep Pirates at Wil

The U15 Cadets shine in game 1 with a no-hitter and a 16-0 win. The second game is much more competitive, but ends with another success for the Challengers with the score of 9-7.
Jasper Freigang and Ilai Blickenstorfer managed a rare no-hitter in the first game of the day. They faced the minimum of 15 batters as the Challengers defense came out the Pirates’ only two baserunners by caught stealings. The Zurich offense needed a moment to get up to speed. After one run in the first inning, the Challengers made the paved the way with five runs in the second. In the end, they scored a total of 16 runs. Ilai Blickenstorfer had three hits and one RBI, Noam Müller delivered two hits and three RBI, while Jasper Freigang, Fabrizio Bucher and Jimmy Siemers each contributed two hits.
The second game was a lot tighter. The Pirates initially took a 2-0 lead and then cut the deficit to 5-7 in the fourth inning. But the Challengers always had an answer. Five runs in the first inning created a cushion and they immediately increased the lead to 9-5 in the second half of the fourth inning. The home team loaded the bases in the last inning and got within 7-9 thanks to two walks, but the Challengers were able to end the threat with a somewhat fortunate double play.

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Challengers host Wil Pirates

Next Saturday the Wil Pirates will be welcomed at the Heerenschürli ballpark for a NLA doubleheader. According to the statistics this will be a classic duel between David and Goliath. In 57 meetings between Wil and the Challengers so far, the Zurich team have walked away with a win 53 times. The Eastern Swiss are in their tenth NLA season in a row and have become the fourth power in Swiss baseball over the years. The game starts at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The U15 Cadets will also meet Wil this weekend. The Challengers will travel to the Äbtestadt on Sunday, where they will play against the SG Pirates at the Lindenhof at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
The U12 Juveniles have to go to Central Switzerland on Sunday. In Lucerne they will meet the SG Eagles/Unicorns at 10 a.m. before facing the Rümlang Kobras at 12:30 p.m., against whom they have already won twice on Opening Day. The games will be played in Reussbühl Hinterruopigen.

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Cadets with split in Rümlang

The U15 Cadets split with the Kobras in the reprise of last year’s U15 final in Rümlang. While game 1 was clearly in favor of the Challengers, game 2 just as clearly went to the Zurich Unterländer.
The mission of defending the title is a lot more difficult to achieve in the junior classes than with the adults. And there, too, this is quite difficult. What makes things even more difficult for the juniors is that some team members will no longer be available in the new season due to their age. However there are still a few champions in the Challengers’ lineup. For example Jasper Freigang and Ben Dickow, who pitched a two-hitter with seven strikeouts in the season opener and paved the way for the first win of the season. The offense contributed twelve hits and eight runs to the comfortable 8-0 start. Jasper Freigang and Fabrizio Bucher delivered three hits each, while Noam Müller, Ben Dickow and newcomer Tyler Smith each had two hits.
As in last year’s final, game 2 went in the opposite direction. The first three Challengers pitchers couldn’t find the strike zone at all, so the Kobras went out of the second inning with ten runs on the board. This proved to be a big enough lead because the Challengers didn’t do much on offense either, so game two went to the home team with a score of 10-2.

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Juniors to open season in Rümlang

The 2024 season for the Challengers junior’s organization begins in Rümlang. Both the U12 Juveniles and the U15 Cadets will play against the Rümlang Kobras on Opening Day.
The U12 games will take place on Saturday, April 13th in Rümlang Rümelbach. The games start at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. At the same time on Sunday, April 14th, the U15 Cadets will meet the Kobras. For the Cadets, this is a revival of the final series of the last two years.

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Cadets finish in 3rd place in Rümlang

The traditional indoor tournament of the Rümlang Kobras took place in Rümlang on Saturday. The Challengers took part with their U12 Juveniles and U15 Cadets. This resulted in a fifth and a third place.
With the tournament in Rümlang, the indoor season for the juniors continued after the sports holidays. For the many new players in the U12 Juveniles team, the tournament was a fine opportunity to gain experience and play some games. The young team reached fifth place out of six participants. The next opportunity to continue learning will be next Saturday at the 16th indoor tournament in Therwil.
The U15 Cadets, who were in the final at their home tournament five weeks ago, missed out on a place in the final this time due to a 0-2 defeat in the semi-final against the hosts Rümlang Kobras. The Challengers were able to take revenge for the final defeat suffered in the home tournament in the game for third place against the Therwil Flyers. The team from Geneva won the tournament, despite a loss against the Challengers in the preliminary round.

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Juniors indoor tournament on February 4th

The traditional Challengers juniors indoor tournament in the ETH Hönggerberg sports hall in Zurich will take place this winter on Sunday, February 4th.
Before that the U12 Juveniles and U15 Cadets of the Challengers will be in action at the indoor tournaments in Wil and Bern. The tournament in eastern Switzerland will take place on Saturday, December 9th, the one in the federal city on January 20th, 2024.

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Cadets finish in 1st place

The U15 Cadets win on their last game day of the preliminary round against the SG Black Hawks and the Rümlang Kobras. They secured first place in the east group and will meet the runners-up in the west group in the semi-finals. Who this will be is still open.
The Challengers played the game against the SG Black Hawks confidently this time. This was different from previous encounters this season, but on Saturday the Challengers pulled away 15-0 in the fastest way possible and finally won 22-6. Noam Müller and Fabrizio Bucher each had three hits, Jasper Freigang collected four RBI with a 3-run home run and Ben Dickow with a 2-run home run, and Jimmy Siemers contributed three RBI each to the success.
1st place was decided in the last game between the defending champions Rümlang Kobras and last year’s finalists Challengers. It was already clear that the winner ends the preliminary round in first place. At first it looked like the home team was on the way to achieve the goal. Solana Lutz put her colors up 3-0 with a 2-run double in the third inning. But then the Challengers stamped in. RBI doubles from Noam Müller and Fabrizio Bucher closed the gap for the Challengers to 2-3, and after a wild pitch and an error by the Kobras, the visitors were suddenly 4-3 ahead after three innings. And the Challengers increased the pace again. With an RBI double from Jasper Freigang and an RBI single from Fabrizio Bucher, they pulled away to 6-3 and even went out of the fourth inning with a 9-3 lead. Jasper Freigang pitched a complete game and didn’t let anything burn in the fifth inning either.

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