NLA Spiel 11, Jun. 08, 97

Eagles 4061010122152
Challengers 360604019168
W: MSteiner L: Landis

Eagles 22, Challengers 19

<aRoger Brunner>
Roger Brunner broke out of his season- long slump and went 2-for-4 with a grand- slam homer and seven RBI's.
It took the Challengers and the Eagles 4:05 hours to complete game 1 of their doubleheader. And it was a slugfest as the two teams combined for 41 runs (most in the NLA this season), 31 hits and 25 bases-on-balls. Challengers Chris Palatinus led all players with four hits and 12 of the total 20 players had at least two hits. Nine pitchers were used and every one of them except Valdez gave up at least one run.

The Challengers held an early lead by scoring nine times in the first two innings to go up 9-4. But the Eagles, led by their Dominican players sent 11 batters to the plate in the third to score six runs. Third baseman Vazquez capped the inning by hitting a grand-slam homerun out of the park off Thomas Landis (3-3).

To make matters worse, the Eagles jumped on Landis in the fourth and scored 10 more runs but profited thereby from three errors and a passed ball on a dropped third strike. Therefore, only six of the ten runs were earned, but the score was now 20-9 in the guest's favor.

Landis then was relieved by Roger Brunner and he did a good job keeping the Eagle hitters off balance. But his defense again blew one chance after the other. Landis again came in to pitch the last three innings and just gave up one more unearned run.

The Challengers managed to score 10 runs in the last four innings, thanks mainly to Brunner's grand-slam homer in the bottom of the sixth that brought his team within two runs of the charging Eagles. Brunner finished the game with seven RBI's after just collecting one in his previous 11 at-bats.

But it wasn't enough as closer Valdez shut down the Challengers offense in the last two innings to give his team a 22-19 victory.