NLA Game 12, Jun. 26, 99

Barracudas 311405115113
Challengers 034005416118
W: Brunner L: Houston

Challengers rally in final at-bat for 16-15 win

The Challengers rallied for four runs in their last at-bat to beat the Zurich Barracudas 16-15 in game 2 to salvage a split of Saturday's doubleheader.

Joe Cox went 1-for-2 with an RBI and also received a game-high three walks.
The Barracudas were again the first to score, and they did so by scoring four unearned runs in the first two innings.

They were helped by two defensive errors by shortstop Joe Cox.

The Challengers managed to come back in the bottom of the third to score three times on three errors by the Barracudas' defense.

The Challengers then even took a 7-5 lead after three innings on Jose Valdez' solo homer, his 11th of the season, and Chris Palatinus' three-run shot that sent starter Frank Berchtold to the showers.

Chris Palatinus hits his second homer of the season in the 3rd inning, a three-run shot off starter Frank Berchtold.
Berchtold was relieved by Farid Bekkali who pitched the next 2 2-3 innings, and also was given the lead by his offense. They scored four times on just one hit, but took advantage of four errors. One of them was charged to Palatinus, who misplayed Ueli Von Burg's hard liner that took a bad hop in front of him and hit him in his right eye. He had to leave the game, but no serious injuries were examined.

Neither team managed to score in the fifth inning before the Barracudas put together five more runs in the top of the sixth off reliever Gustavo Salami. Salami, who retired after the 1995 season, and started to play in the third team this year, gave his comeback by pitching 1 1-3 innings in relief, giving up five runs on five hits and two walks and striking out two. He was relieved by Roger Brunner after giving up a single to Von Burg in that inning.

Thomas Landis
Pitcher, Outfielder
Thomas Landis
Brunner started by giving up two consecutive walks, one of which forced in a run, and then giving up a run-scoring ground out to Tom Houston for a 14-7 lead.

But the Challengers managed to close the gap to 14-12 in their bottom half of the inning. They did it with a bases-loaded walk to Salami and Valdez' ensuing grand slam homer off reliever Nico Kölliker. It was Valdez' 12th homer in 12 games this season.

The Barracudas were able to score one more unearned run off Brunner in the top of the seventh for a 15-12 lead.

Bryan Shemley's only hit of the game was the deciding difference in game 2.
Closer Houston started the bottom of the seventh inning by giving up consecutive singles to Anubis Benitez and Cox. Gustavo Salami grounded into a fielder's choice for the first out, but Valdez followed with a single, his fourth hit of the game.

Brunner struck out swinging for the second out. Up stepped Bryan Shemley, who went hitless in his previous four at-bats. He lined the first pitch offered by Houston over the left center field fences for a three-run shot and the 16-15 victory for his team.

Game Notes: Valdez is on pace to break the Challengers single-season record of 22 homers, set in 1994 by Adris Linares. He is projected to hit 28 homers after his two homers in game 2. ...Brunner got his third victory in his fourth appearance this season. Amazingly, he only pitched 10 1-3 innings for these wins.