NLA Game 1, Apr. 21, 02

Rainbows 000120319
Challengers 201153223173
W: Räber, B. L: Savoldelli

Challengers open season with a convincing 23-3 victory

After getting rained out a week ago, the Challengers opened their 2002 campaign with a 23-3 romp over the helpless Embrach Rainbows on Sunday.

Benny Räber went five innings, allowing no earned runs and striking out seven.
The Rainbows and their starter Roger Savoldelli managed to keep the score close over three innings as they trailed only 3-1. But the Challengers exploded for 15 runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Savoldelli did everything right as only three of all those runs were earned.

But the Challengers had nine hits in that inning alone, along with four errors by the Rainbow defense. Manny Marchant doubled and homered in that inning, Roger Brunner hit a three-run homer, Chris Palatinus had a two-run double, Anubis Benitez had a two-run single, and so it went on and on.

After the Bows finally managed the three outs, the Challengers already had 18 runs on the board.

Challenger starter Benny Räber controlled the offense, allowing only three runs - none of them earned - on one hit (Savoldelli's single in the fifth inning), five walks while striking out seven.

Rainbow batters managed to get just a single hit in the entire game.
He allowed two more runs to score in the top of the fifth inning, but both were unearned as replacement catcher Benitez committed two errors on one play.

Three more errors and four hits led to five more runs for the Challengers for the final score of 23-3. The game was ended based upon the double-mercy rule in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Game notes:
Palatinus' base-on-balls in the fourth inning was his 100th of his NLA-career. ...Marchant grounded out in his 300th at-bat in the NLA.