NLA Spiel 29, Aug. 28, 99

Challengers 122010000665
Cardinals 10013011x7102
W: Fries L: Räber

Cardinals 7, Challengers 6

The Challengers lost game 1 of this year's Playoff Semifinal series 7-6- against the Bern Cardinals on Saturday.

Benny Räber took the loss despite giving up just three earned runs on 10 hits and 2 walks.
The Bern Cardinals, who are appearing in their first postseason since the team was founded, overcame a strong pitching performance by Benny Räber, and also profited from several costly defensive blunders.

The Challengers opened the scoring in the first inning on Thomas Landis' run-scoring ground out.

But the Cards came right back in their half of the inning, and tied it on Tom Volk's RBI-single with the bases loaded.

The Challengers then got some unexpected support from the bottom of their lineup as Bryan Shemley and Chris Palatinus connected for two solo homers in the top of the second for a 3-1 lead.

Bryan Shemley connects for his fifth homer of the year, a solo shot in the top of the 2nd inning.
The Challengers further extended their lead in the 3rd inning on Landis' two-run homer, his 10th of the year.

Landis added another four-bagger in the fifth inning for a 6-2 lead after 4 1/2 innings.

But then, the Cards finally got to Räber, and also profited from two errors in the bottom of the fifth to cut the Challengers' lead to 6-5. Ron Zimmermann hit a two-run homer, and Anubis Benitez' third error of the game enabled Will Scheidegger to score from third base.

Thomas Landis connected twice for homers no. 10 and 11 of the season in a losing cause.
The Challengers' bats were kept silent by Cardinal starter Severin Fries after Landis' homer, and his team managed to knot up the game at 6-6 in the bottom of the seventh inning on Chuck Vail Jr.'s RBI-single.

And even better, catcher Marco Haas jumped on a hanging curve offered by Räber in the bottom of the eighth inning to take the lead for good.

The Challengers had just two more baserunners in the final four innings, one of which was picked off (Benitez in the 7th) and the other stranded at 2nd base (Jose Valdez in the 8th inning).

Game Notes: Shemley and Palatinus both broke their career-records for homers in a single season by hitting their fifth homers of the season, both in the top of the second inning.