NLA Spiel 8, May 30, 99

Flyers 314024014142
Challengers 1123000786
W: AKurz L: Räber

Challengers drop second game in a row to Flyers 14-7

The Challengers quickly fell behind in game 2 of Sunday's doubleheader against the Therwil Flyers, and newer rebounded before losing 14-7.

Starter Benny Räber gave a fine performance in his first appearance of the season, pitching 2 2-3 innings and allowing just three earned runs.
They also dropped to third place with a 6-2 record, 2 games behind the still-perfect Flyers.

The Flyers jumped on starter Benny Räber, who made his first start of the season after his military service. They scored one unearned run on Gary Kochlefl's throwing error and two more on Alain Kurz's two-run homer.

The Challengers managed just two unearned runs in the first two innings on Anubis Benitez' steal of home and a throwing error by shortstop Reto Siegel.

But the Flyers continued to score in the third inning. They did so on Rene Kurz's two-run homer and Fernando Abril's RBI-single that finished Räber (0-1).

Gary Kochlefl
2nd baseman
Gary Kochlefl
Newly acquired Manny Marchant took over and pitched the next 2 2-3 innings, allowing three runs on three hits, including Siegel's second homer of the doubleheader.

The Challengers managed to cut the Flyers' lead to 8-4 after three innings thanks to Jose Valdez' ninth homer in eight games this season, a two-run shot off Kurz.

And the Challengers kept creeping closer and closed the gap to 8-7 by scoring three times in the bottom of the fourth on RBI-doubles by Kochlefl and Benitez. It was Kochlefl's first full game with the Challengers this season after his comeback from retirement.

Alain Kurz mastered the Challengers and gave up just five earned runs in his complete-game victory.
The Challengers may have been able to add some more if Marchant hadn't grounded into an inning-ending double play.

And it seemed that that double play helped to motivate Kurz. He pitched the last three innings for the complete-game victory, allowing just seven runs - two of them unearned - on eight hits and four walks and striking out four.

Reliever Marchant had to leave the game in the top of the sixth after pitching 2 2-3 innings, because a foreign pitcher isn't allowed to pitch more than three innings under Swiss baseball rules. And since Kurz just reached first base on a single, Thomas Landis came in to relieve.

Fernando Abril hits an RBI-single in the third inning off Räber.
But he was greeted by Karim Traore with a double, and Djibril Traore laid down an RBI-single. After three more batters and just one out, Landis had to leave and make way for Oli Christen.

Christen finished the game by pitching 1 1-3 scoreless innings, giving up no hits and striking out one batter. He now has allowed just 3 earned runs in 14 1-3 IP this season for a miniscule ERA of 1.88.

Game Notes: After hitting a grand slam in game 1 for his only hit of the game, Reto Siegel of the Flyers went 4-for-5 with two doubles, a homer, four runs scored and two RBI's. ...Kochlefl now has 29 career doubles, tying him with Jim Kaufmann and Dario Rinaldi for fifth place on the Challengers' alltime list.