NLA Game 34, Sep. 18, 99

Challengers 00213205013144
Flyers 20000405314153
W: AKurz L: Brunner

Flyers rally for eight runs, beat Challengers 14-13 in final at-bat

The Therwil Flyers won game 3 of this year's Swiss Finals 14-13 in their final at-bat against the Zurich Challengers on Saturday.

Armin Blickenstorfer">Armin Blickenstorfer went 3-for-4 at the plate in his first multi-hit game since August 22.
The Challengers are still leading the best-of-five series 2-1 after winning the first two games, and the series will resume next Saturday with game 4 at the Heerenschuerli.

For the first time ever in this series, the Flyers took a lead on Fernando Abril's sac fly that scored Reto Siegel from third base and a bases-loaded hit by pitch by starter Benny Räber for a 2-0 lead after the first frame.

But the Challengers tied it in the top of the third on Nick Lehmann's RBI-double and Roger Brunner's RBI-single following an intentional pass to Jose Valdez.

Alain Kurz is delivering, and 1st base umpire Suter calls a balk. It was one of five balk calls during the game.
And the Challengers took the lead in the next inning on Chris Palatinus' solo homer leading off the inning. It was his second homer in as many games.

The Challengers then gave Räber an even bigger cushion on rookie Tobias Siegrist's three-run homer in the fifth inning and Valdez' two-run double the next inning for an 8-2 lead.

The Flyers then managed to trim the Challengers' lead in the bottom of the sixth as Räber started to wear down.

Karim Traore led off the inning with a solo shot over the left field fences, and umpire Suter made three balk calls against reliever Marchant that enabled two more runs to cross the plate for a score of 8-6 in favor of the Challengers.

Jose Valdez received three intentional walks, and when he didn't, he singled and drove in two runs with a double.
Manny Marchant managed to finish the sixth inning and also allowed just a single in the seventh inning.

His offense provided him with a 13-6 lead in the top of the eighth inning, profiting from reliever Siegel's lack of control. Brunner hit a run-scoring fielder's choice, Palatinus drew a bases-loaded walk, Marchant helped himself with a two-run single, and Armin Blickenstorfer capped the inning with an RBI-single off reliever Philipp Kleiber.

Reliever Manny Marchant gave away the game in the bottom of the eighth inning by allowing five runs to score.
But the Flyers got all those runs back in their half of the inning on Roy Allenspach's RBI-single, followed by catcher Ivano Piaia's three-run homer and Kleiber's RBI-double off new reliever Valdez.

Going into the bottom of the ninth, the Challengers still hung on to a slim 13-11 lead, but Valdez wasn't able to finish it off. Djibril Traore led off the inning and reached on center fielder Marchant's fielding error. Abril made the most of it and homered to deep left field to tie the game at 13-13 with no outs.

Brunner took over from Valdez, the fourth Challenger pitcher in the game, and managed to get an out after walking the first batter he faced.

Bryan Shemley went hitless in four at-bats and has just two hits in 12 at-bats in the Finals.
Alain Kurz then drilled a double over the infield to put the winning run on third base with one out.

Karim Traore was next and he hit the very next pitch over the drawn-in outfield that scored Piaia with the winning run for the Flyers.

Game Notes: Blickenstorfer's RBI-single in the eighth inning was his 100th career hit in the NLA. ...Lehmann struck out in his 100th at-bat of the season. ...Brunner scored his 100th run in his NLA-career in the eighth inning.