The NLB-Team improved its record to 3-9 after a split with the second placed Zürich Lions on Sunday, July 18 at the Heereschürli ballpark.
Five runs in the top of the fifth inning and a flawless defense were all Oliver Christen and the Challengers needed, as they posted a surprising 6-4 victory in Game 1 over the Lions. Starter Oliver Christen tossed six plus strong innings, as he allowed four runs and four hits for his first win of the season and the defense threw out three baserunners and turned a crucial double play in the fourth inning.
The C’s opened the score in the first frame, as an RBI-single by Adrian Kämpfer plated Roger Burger to make it 1-0. Then the two teams exchanged zeros on the scoreboard for the next three and a half innings.
The C’s started the fifth with a base-on-balls to Korey Kovac and back-to-back singles from Burger and Kämpfer to load the bases, before Willy Schaub drove in Kovac. Up 2-0, the C’s continued the inning with an RBI-single by Mathew Stringer and an RBI-double by Alex Gordon to make it 4-0. And the C’s added two more runs, as Kurt Kovac was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Gordon scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-0.
The Lions scored two runs in the bottom half of the frame and added another run in the sixth to close the gap to three runs. After surrendering a lead-off walk in the seventh Christen handed the ball to closer Willy Schaub, who picked up his second save of the season.
The Lions bounced back in the second game of the day, as they built a six-run lead in the second inning and held on for a 14-8 win over the Challengers. Nevertheless the C’s moved into sixth place with the split. They will face the Zürich Barracudas for the next derby at the Heerenschürli ballpark on Sunday, July 25.