Challengers stay at .500

The Zurich Challengers also end the third gameday of the 2024 season with a split. In the first game of the day they erased a six-run deficit to finally celebrate a 11-7 win, but lost game 2 to the Wil Pirates 1-2.

The initial phase of the encounter with the Eastern Swiss was a complete failure. The Pirates took a 7-1 lead also thanks to five runs in the second inning. Ryan Byrne got the initial spark for the Challengers in the third inning. He opened the frame with a successful bunt single and scored on a mistake by the Wil defense. The Zurich team cut the deficit to 4-7 thanks to runs from Säntis Zeller and Regis Reinhard and an RBI single from Carsten Zuber in his first game with the Challengers. Now the home team was in the game as well. The Challengers finally took control in the sixth inning. Simon Steffen with an RBI single, Ryan Byrne with a 2-run double, Regis Reinhard with a sac fly and last but not least Robert Sedin with a home run over the wall in left field gave the C’s a 10-7 lead. The relief pitchers James Sanders and Regis Reinhard brought the game to the finish line. The latter delivered another RBI-single to make it 11-7.

Ryan Byrne led the offense with three hits and two RBI, Regis Reinhard had two hits and two RBI, while Robert Sedin, Carsten Zuber and Patrick Maier all contributed two hits in the win.

Game 2 developed into a pitcher’s duel between ex-Challengers pitcher Andrea Girasole for the Pirates and left-hander Ryan Byrne on the Challengers’ side. In the first inning, no one could have guessed that the Pirates’ two runs would be enough to win. The guests scored two runs with one hit as they made maximum use of the Zurich defense’s inaccuracies with stolen bases, a wild pitch, a passed ball and an error. Byrne did not allow any further damage to occur. He gave up just three hits in seven innings with two runs, one earned, two walks and an incredible 15 strikeouts. The fact that this wasn’t enough to win was due to the opponent. Girasole kept Zurich’s offense in check throughout the entire game. He went through seven innings throwing just 84 pitches, giving up eight hits and just one run, an RBI single from Patrick Maier in the second inning, with four strikeouts and no walks. So after six games and a record of 3-3, the Challengers remain at .500.


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