Challengers finish Round Robin in 2nd place

In the last game of the preliminary round, the Challengers met the first-placed Therwil Flyers again. The Zurich team was able to keep up for four innings. Then the reigning champion made rushed away and finally won with 16-2.
For the first time this season, the Zurich team presented with Nick and Jack Siemers and Florin Kämpfer three juniors in their starting lineup. They did their job well. A ball put into play by Kämpfer caused an error in the Flyers defense and brought the 1-1 tie through Marco Limacher, who had put himself in scoring position with a lead-off triple. The Flyers followed up with a triple from Chris Horne in the third inning and then a solo home run from Taka Oshima to make it 3-1. In the fourth frame the Challengers reduced the lead to 2-3 and kept hoping for a positive result. Luis Mateo Jimenez brought home again Limacher with an RBI single. But then the Flyers stepped up a gear and showed why they have been the undefeated champions since 2019. With surgical precision their balls found the gaps in the Challengers defense, so the game ended after seven innings with mercy rule.
Luis Mateo Jimenez and Oliver Bernet Garcia led the Challengers offense with two hits each. In two weeks the C’s will meet city rivals Zurich Barracudas in the playoff semi-finals.

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Flyers walk away with win

In the duel between the first placed Flyers and the second placed Challengers, the reigning champion from Therwil quickly ensures clear conditions. The Challengers defend themselves as best they can and can claim some positive points for themselves.
The dfending champion from Therwil already made the decisive difference in innings three and four by submitting no fewer than nine runs. After all, the Challengers also came to a good inning. After Adam Greenberg scored the first run for Zurich on a wild pitch, Marco Limacher followed with an RBI double and Carlos Nepomuceno with another RBI to make it 3-9. In the next few innings Hayden Jung-Goldberg kept the Basel offensive in check, but the C’s couldn’t get more than their fourth run through a sac fly by Adam Greenberg. Ultimately, they left the field with a 4-11 loss.
Leonel Sosa Marte had four hits, while Nick Siemers contributed two hits. The Challengers will have the opportunity to take revenge tomorrow, Saturday. At the end of the preliminary round, they meet the Flyers again at 5.30 p.m. in the Heerenschürli ballpark.

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Win against cross-town rival

The Challengers defeated the Zurich Barracudas 11-9 in an exciting Zurich derby on Wednesday night and secured home advantage for the playoff semifinals. There the C’s will meet the Barracudas again.
However, the home team dressed in green got off to a better start. The Barracudas took a 3-0 lead in the first inning and held a 5-2 lead after four frames. But in the fifth inning the Challengers made a big turnaround. After a lead-off single by Leonel Sosa Marte, Carlos Nepomuceno made it 3-5 with what was already his third hit of the game. He set off a veritable avalanche. Patrick Maier brought his team up to 4-5 with an RBI single before Nick Siemers and Hayden Jung-Goldberg’s RBI’s turned the game around. But that wasn’t all. Regis Reinhard made it 7-5 with a double and Leonel Sosa Marte capped the inning with a 2-run double to make it 9-5.
But anyone who had thought that the game was over was way off the mark. Maybe one or the other thought so. But not Livio Bundi. The Barracudas DH brought new life into his squad with a two-run homer in the second half of the fifth frame, and he even repeated the feat in the seventh inning to restart the game again at 9-9.
But the last exclamation point was set by the guests. Marco Limacher started the ninth inning with a walk and scored the go-ahead run on an RBI triple from Nick Siemers. And Siemers scored an insurance run after an RBI single from Regis Reinhard to make it 11-9. However, Luis Mateo Jimenez did not need one at all. The pitcher ended the game with three quick outs.
With the win the Challengers now have ten wins and four losses and can no longer be pushed out of second place. On Friday and Saturday night, the Challengers will meet the undisputed leaders Therwil Flyers twice at the Heerenschürli ballpark. The outcome of these two games does not change the fact that the next Zurich derby with the Barracudas will take place in the semi-finals.

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Three Nightgames for the Challengers

The poor weather after the start of the season continues to affect the baseball calendar to this day. There are three make-up games in the form of night games scheduled for the Challengers this week. On Wednesday evening there will be a Zurich derby with the Zurich Barracudas at the Heerenschürli ballpark, before the first placed Therwil Flyers make two guest appearances at the Heerenschürli on Friday and Saturday evening. The games on Wednesday and Friday start at 6.30 p.m., the Saturday game is scheduled for 5.30 p.m.

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Challengers start busy seven days with two Wins

While summer vacation has already begun for many, the Challengers are working extra shifts. Three games that fell victim to the weather in spring will be rescheduled between Wednesday and Saturday evening. Before that, there was a regularly scheduled doubleheader in Bern taking place on Sunday.
The Challengers got two wins, but at least the one in Game 1 was hard work. The game lasted no less than 3 hours and 39 minutes, went into the 11th inning, the Cardinals hit an incredible 20 hits and the Challengers first had to recover from a 1-7 deficit to even make it into the extra innings. That was only possible because the Cardinals made a costly error with two outs in the ninth inning, thanks to which Marco Limacher brought Säntis Zeller home with an RBI single to make it 9-9. In the tenth inning Adam Greenberg set up a good cushion with a 3-run single, while Jayden Jung-Goldberg made it 13-9 with a sac fly. But this time, the Cardinals proved their escape skills. With a full count walk and bases loaded with two outs, they tied the game to a much-celebrated 13-13. However the Challengers were also able to submit in the eleventh inning. Carlos Nepomuceno’s and Säntis Zeller’s Sac Flies gave Zurich a 15-13 lead for good. The home team had no answer for that anymore.
Adam Greenberg had two hits and five RBIs, Leonel Sosa Marte had two hits and three RBIs, and Nick Siemers and Luis Mateo Jimenez scored three runs each.
The second game then lasted only half as long. The Challengers clearly prevailed 14-0. Adam Greenberg and Säntis Zeller each had two hits and three RBI. But the history of the game was written by Challenger’s pitcher Stefan Haltmeier. He gave up just one hit in the fifth inning, earning a one-hit shutout win with five walks and five strikeouts. On Wednesday evening at 6.30 p.m. in the Heerenschürli ballpark the Challengers will meet the Zurich Barracudas for a city derby.

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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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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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Ladie win twice on Züri-Fäscht Saturday

On the Züri-Fäscht Saturday the Challengers Softball-Team welcomed the Bern Cardinals on the Klopstockwiese. The fans got to see two very good games, with the first game being on the razor’s edge to the last catch.
Sarah Kleiterp started as a pitcher for the Challengers for the first time. The line-up for the home team was a bit unusual due to various absences. After initially falling behind, the Zurich team finally fought their way back into the game in the fourth inning when Taylor McCants reached home plate first, before Simona Cellar equalized the game to 9-9 with a 2-run double. It was Cellar again who made it 10-9 in the sixth inning with an RBI single, her fourth hit of the game. After that, Leandra Simitoviv completed her strong performance with three flyouts and secured the Challengers a 10-9 victory. Simitovic allowed just one hit in five innings and managed no fewer than seven strikeouts.
Kleiterp opened Game 2 with a three-up three-down inning, allowing the Challengers to take control from the start. Taylor McCants delivered two clean innings, giving up just two hits and two strikeouts, while the 12-hit offensive saw the game end with a 15-5 score due to the mercy-rule after four innings. Leandra Simitovic had three hits and four RBIs, Molly Mullens also had three hits and two RBIs, while Simone Zurschmitten and Anna Zgraggen each had one hit and two RBIs in the win. With the two successes the Challengers extend their winning streak to nine.

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Challengers games on Thursday and Saturday

On Thursday evening, July 6th, there will be a Make-up game in the NLB championship at the Heerenschürli ballpark. The Challengers meet the Zurich Barracudas Academy. The game will start at 7 p.m.
On the Züri-Fäscht Saturday the Softball-Team will be playing its next home game day at the Klopstockwiese. The Challengers will try to extend their seven game winning streak also against the Bern Cardinals. Games start at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
The U15-Cadets will also be in action on Saturday. They play in Rümlang against the SG Black Hawks and the Rümlang Kobras. The games start at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. in Rümlang Rümelbach.

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Softball-Team wins 7th in a row

Thanks to another strong offense the Softball-Team wins twice against the Sissach Frogs. The Challengers are now riding a seven game winning streak.
After two innings pitched by U22 players, as required by the regulations, the guests were already ahead by 10-5. After a good third inning the Frogs reduced the deficit to 12-16, but in the end the Challengers clearly prevailed 28-15. Isabelle Tan and Mia Matas each had three hits, three RBI and four runs, Marina Vaccaro Brüderli contributed two hits, three RBI and five runs and Leandra Simitovic got her third win of the season.
Game 2 was very similar. The Challengers took an 8-3 lead after two innings and didn’t give it up until the end. Taylor McCants gave up just three hits and one run while the offense went up to 14-4. McCants was also significantly involved with two doubles and two RBI, Isabelle Tan, Sarah Kleiterp and Mia Matas also collected two RBI each. The debut of junior Tara Hochstrasser was also pleasing. She got two RBI and one run in the first game.

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