NLA Game 24, Aug. 31, 97

Challengers 232317422280
Cardinals 0102030686
W: Brunner L: Scheidegger

Challengers 22, Cardinals 6

Rookie Beat Eichenberger blasted three homers as the Challengers had 28 hits in a 22-6 slugfest against the Cardinals in Sunday's doubleheader.

Beat Eichenberger went 5-for-6 with three homers along with eight RBI's.
The season's finale was marked by exceptional performances from sources not expected. Nicki Lehmann started and pitched three solid innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits and five bases-on-balls. Eichenberger had a double and a single to add to his three homers and finished the day going 5-for-6 with 8 RBI's. Giorgio Szentgyörgyi, usually just a substitute in late innings, had a single in each of his first four at-bats and added one more in the seventh to go 5-for-6 and raise his batting average to .444.

The Challengers scored in every inning at least once, and batted around in the sixth as they collected seven runs off Cards reliever Kusano.

Thomas Landis homered in his first at-bat to extend his homerun streak to nine games.

Lehmann was relieved by Roger Brunner (2-1) in the fourth inning and pitched two shutout innings for his second win of the day. Bryan Shemley, usually catching behind the dish, gave his debut as a pitcher in the NLA, but he lasted just two pitches as both batters he faced ripped back-to-back singles off him. He made way for Chris Palatinus who appeared in the first game of the season for the last time. Second baseman Hänzi lifted Palatinus' second pitch over the left-field wall for a three-run homer, but Palatinus settled down after that. He struck out the last four batters he faced and lowered his ERA to 9.00.

The Challengers finish the season with a 15-9 record, better than most people have expected at the start of the season. They can now easily look ahead to the playoffs where they will appear for the first time in three years.