Cadets pitch no-hitter, but still lose

The winning streak of the U15-Cadets has come to an abrupt halt. The so far undefeated Challengers leave the field twice as losers. Although they manage a rare no-hitter against the Hünenberg Unicorns, they still lose the game 1-2. After that, they get off track and lose again against the Rümlang Kobras.
Fabrizio Bucher and Philip Louis managed the rare feat of a combined no-hitter in the game against hosts Hünenberg Unicorns. The fact that even this wasn’t enough to win was on the one hand due to too many walks given up, nine in total, and on the other hand due to a weak offense, in which Maor Müller had the only two hits of the game. Ben Dickow tied the game at 1-1 in the second inning after a walk and three stolen bases including a steal at home. This was the Challengers’ only run, so a bases-loaded walk in the third inning brought the decision in favor of the Unicorns. The Zurich team brought the tying run to third base in the fifth inning, but did not manage to tie the game again.
The game against the Rümlang Kobras initially continued in a similar style. After two innings it was only 1-1. But then the Kobras were the first to untie the knot. With four runs in the third and three runs in the fourth inning, they pulled away 8-1. Although Fabrizio Bucher made it 2-8 and Noam Müller made it 3-8 with an RBI single, the Kobras responded with three more runs on their part. The Challengers’ four runs in the last inning were useless. Jimmy Siemers after a wild pitch, Ben Dickow and Fabrizio Bucher each with an RBI single and Bucher with a steal on home were only able to reduce to 7-11, which did not prevent the second loss of the day.

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Nick Siemers at the MLB European Development Tournament

Challengers homegrown Nick Siemers has been selected by MLB to compete in the prestigious MLB European Development Tournament as part of the 2023 MLB London Series. The 19-year-old Swiss national team player takes part from June 19 till 25 with the best European baseball talents at the London tournament.
Siemers plans to transfer to a US college in the fall to take the next step in his career.

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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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NLB-Team wins Nightgame

The NLB-Team wins the derby against the Zurich Barracudas Academy on Wednesday night. With seven runs in the first inning, they pave the way early to a safe 15-5 win.
Against the young team of the Academy, the veterans of the Challengers showed themselves to be in charge. Patrick Zöllig and Thomas Landis each had three hits, Thomas Blank, Adderly Sarmiento and Ryan Koley contributed two hits each, and Juan Francisco Robles allowed just five hits, one run and one walk in four innings with three strikeouts for the win.

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No wins for the Juveniles

The U12-Juveniles traveled to Lucerne on Pentecost Saturday for a make-up day tournament that fell victim to the rain in spring. Opponents were the Lucerne Eagles and Therwil Flyers. The young Challengers team had its problems with both opponents. While it was a relatively tight 5-11 against the hosts Lucerne Eagles, they suffered a 4-16 defeat against the Therwil Flyers in the second game of the day.

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Four wins in a row for the Softball-Team

The Softball-Team wins twice against the Lucerne Eagles at the Klopstockwiese. While they make the difference in the second half of the game after a tight start in game 1, they tenaciously defend an early 5-run lead in game 2 until the end.
In the opener, the Challengers set the course for victory in the third inning. An RBI-single from Mindy Siemers first leveled the 3-4 deficit before a hit-by-pitch to Taylor McCants with loaded bases gave the home team the lead for the first time. Carmen Lutz-Demetz followed with a 2-run single before an RBI groundout from Isabelle Tan, an RBI bunt single from Simona Cellar and a 2-run single from Leandra Simitovic made it 11-4. Although the Central Swiss team reduced the lead again to 8-11, the Challengers ended the game with five hits and seven runs to make it 18-8 after four innings thanks to the mercy rule.
Taylor McCants stood out from a strong collective with three hits, four RBI and three runs, while Amanda Marxer scored three runs and Carmen Lutz-Demetz and Isabelle Tan each contributed three RBIs.
In Game 2, the Challengers’ goal had to be to get into the third inning with a lead. Because after the first two innings, in which according to the regulations U22 pitchers have to pitch, the Eagles would have the strong Rio Sanchez in the pitcher’s circle. The C’s implemented the plan. They scored ten runs with ten hits, while Amanda Marxer gave up just five runs, giving her team the lead for good. The defense around pitcher Leandra Simitovic was able to hold on, while Tamara Ammeter with two RBI singles and a run scored ensured that the Challengers added a little safety margin.
Ammeter finished the game with a strong four hits, four RBI and three runs, but was even bettered by Isabelle Tan with four hits, RBI and runs each. Taylor McCants, Simona Cellar, Marina Vaccaro Brüderli and Anna Zgraggen all recorded a multi-hit game in the hard-fought 13-10 win.

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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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Another loss for the Challengers

As on Friday the Challengers lost to their cross-town rivals Zurich Barracudas on Saturday. The Challengers are still too patchy, especially on the offensive they are not yet running on all cylinders.
While Friday’s game was tight almost halfway, the Barracudas put up five runs in Saturday’s game in the second inning. It wasn’t until the fifth inning that the Challengers found their way onto the scoreboard. Simon Steffen brought home Nick Siemers with an RBI-single. Hope germinated in the sixth frame. After oldie Thomas Landis came on base with a single and Ryan Byrne with a bunt single, the pressure on the Barracudas defense increased. Indeed, Landis scored on a wild pitch and with the bases loaded, Nick Siemers managed a walk before Carlos Nepomuceno was hit by a pitch, allowing the Challengers to reduce the gap to 4-5.
But instead of the momentum tipping over to the side of the home team, the whole thing turned out to be a flash in the pan. The Barracudas responded immediately with two runs and added three more runs in the ninth inning to finally win again by a solid 10-4.

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