NLA Spiel 12, Jun. 23, 13

Eagles 0030000000003110
Challengers 1100100000014172
W: Bregy, H. L: Haltmeier, S.

Challengers prevail 4-3 in 12 innings versus Eagles

The Lucerne Eagles are turning out to be one of the most annoying easy teams to play the Challengers in recent years.

It took the Challengers an unprecedented 12 innings to finally earn a 4-3 victory in which Andrea Girasole went a record 11 1-3 innings.

Both Bryan Shemley and Eidrys Reyes had three hits apiece in a 17-hit outburst which resulted in only four runs as the Challengers stranded 14 runners, 9 of them in scoring position.

Tobias Siegrist had the only extra-base hit of the game, slapping an RBI-double to left center field in the first inning for his 500th hit, and 150th double of his NLA career.

With those career milestones out of the way, his team continued to put the ball in play in the second inning, getting a second run on a sacrifice fly by Reyes.

The Eagles got on the board in the top of the third by stringing together five consecutive singles that resulted in three runs and a 3-2 lead.

After several fine defensive plays by the Eagles, the Challengers only managed one more run in the bottom of the fifth on Shemley’s RBI-single to tie the game.

After that, Stefan Haltmeier and Girasole were keeping the bats in check and exchanged zeros on the board from the sixth inning on.

After their three-run third inning, the Eagles didn’t have a runner in scoring position until the ninth inning when Henry Delgado reached second on a wild pitch with two outs.

The Challengers didn’t fare much better and also waited until the ninth inning to put together a threat.

Reyes led off with a bunt single, and Francisco Colindres moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt.

Robert Sedin followed with yet another bunt single, forcing coach James Chapman to signal for an intentional walk to Siegrist to load the bases.

Coach Chris Palatinus summoned pinch-hitter Saentis Zeller from the bench and gave the sign to execute a suicide squeeze, but Zeller failed to put the ball in play, and Reyes was a dead duck between third and home.

With two outs, Zeller grounded out weakly to the pitcher to send the game into extra innings.

In those extra frames, the Eagles run themselves out of potential rallies twice: In the 10th, Tom Enz got tagged out at third as René Plüss hit a ball to right field and tried to run all the way to third with Enz occupying that base.

And in the 12th, with Marco Limacher at first base, Chapman got thrown out at second trying to stretch his single for the third out.

With one out in the bottom of the 12th, Zeller, pinch-hitter James Sanders an Patrick Maier all reached on consecutive singles off Haltmeier to load the bases.

Shemley cashed in and hit a walk-off sacrifice fly to left field, that would have dropped foul, but Mano Steiner made the catch in foul territory, enabling Zeller to race home from third with the game-winner.

Harry Bregy picked up the win by getting the final two outs in the top of the 12th inning.

Game notes
Sanders held the previous record of most innings pitched in a game with 11. ...Girasole faced 48 batters, 2 short of Thomas Landis’ single-game record of 50 set on September 14, 1997 and September 19, 1998. ...Siegrist ranks second on the all-time list for hits, well behind Landis' total of 675. ...Bregy is only the third pitcher in Challengers history to be credited with a win having retired only two batters or less. The two others: Willy Schaub with two outs on September 18, 2004 in the Playoff Semifinals against the Zurich Barracudas, and Nick Lehmann on May 23, 1998 against the Bern Cardinals. ...The game was the longest in Challengers history inning-wise, topping the 11 1-3 innings on August 12, 2006 against the Thweil Flyers.