By Marvin Moore
GERMANY – Justin Kuehn threw seven scoreless innings and Rodney Gessman delivered a clutch two-run single to help the Regensburg Legionaere complete a doubleheader sweep over the HSV Stealers with a 4-0 victory Saturday in the quarterfinals of the German Baseball League playoffs.
Kuehn (6-1) allowed just four hits and three walks while punching out five batters to put the South Division champion one win shy of advancing to the second round. Reliever Harry Glynne worked the final two frames to preserve the shutout and earn the save.
Gessman drove home Petr Cech and Matt Vance in a three-run third to put skipper Martin Helmig’s squad on top for good. Vance and Evan LeBlanc paced the Legionaere with two hits apiece.
HSV Stealers’ staff ace Antonio Peraza (6-2) was charged with the setback after issuing a walk and eight hits in a complete game outing.
The reigning German titleholder opened the best-of-five series with a decisive 13-2 win in the first encounter as Chris Howard doubled twice and tallied five RBIs.
Mike Bolsenbroek (8-0) scattered two runs on four hits and three walks over seven strong innings to pick up his eighth win of the year.
SOLINGEN SILENCES MAINZ
The Solingen Alligators opened the German postseason with a pair of impressive road wins over the Mainz Athletics to inch closer to the next round.
The North Division second-seeded squad rolled to a 9-1 win in the series opener behind another solid outing by homegrown ace Andre Hughes. The southpaw went the distance and fanned nine to improve to 13-0 this season.
Patrick Kanthak, Dominik Wulf and Travis Bass all went deep for the Alligators who pounded out 13 hits against three Mainz hurlers.
Shelley Robertson outduelled Pat Haugen in a matchup of American pitchers to lift Solingen to a 7-3 triumph in the second game.
Robertson (8-7) struck out nine over eight frames and finished the game with four scoreless innings to push the Athletics to the brink of elimination.
The Alligators capitalized on a key defensive blunder in the second to grab an early 3-0 lead before Kanthak and Dustin Hughes connected for back-to-back homers one frame later to put the game out of reach.
Andreas Lastinger collected three hits and scored twice for Mainz.
HAAR SURPRISES PADERBORN
Michael Stephan drilled a two-run blast and the Haar Disciples survived a late rally to upset the Paderborn Untouchables 7-6 Saturday in the first round of the German League playoffs.
Haar, the No. 4 seed from the rugged South Division and heavy underdogs against the two-time reigning North Division champion, rallied from a pair of early deficits to stun the Untouchables.
David Selsemeyer led the Disciples with a trio of hits while Stephan, Ty Ericksen and Christoph Ziegler added two hits each.
Gregor Klinc (2-1) tossed eight effective frames before running out of gas in the ninth to notch the win. Luke Steinlein retired all three batters he faced to earn the save.
Paderborn rebounded with a 3-1 decision in the twinbill finale to even the best-of-five series as American fireballer Brian Fields (12-1) struck out 11 in a stellar complete game appearance.
The Disciples took a quick 1-0 advantage in the first inning when Stephan singled home Steinlein. But Jendrick Speer went deep off Haar starter Francis Garcia (2-4) in the fourth to knot the score, and Sascha Brockmeyer plated the go-ahead run two innings later. Brockmeyer, who went 3-for-4, added an insurance run in the ninth with a solo bomb.
BONN TRIPS HEIDENHEIM
Lennart Weller doubled home Vincent Ahrens in the 12th inning to help the Bonn Capitals edge the Heidenheim Heidekoepfe 8-7 Saturday and even their best-of-five series against the South Division heavyweight.
Heidenheim, which rolled to a decisive 9-3 victory in the first game of the quarterfinal doubleheader, raced out to a seemingly commanding 5-0 lead. However, Daniel Lamb-Hunt highlighted a game-changing four-run seventh with a three-run homer as the Capitals knotted the score at 6-6.
Bonn starter Charley Olson (10-1) worked all 12 frames and threw a ridiculous 166 pitches to deny Heidenheim a twinbill sweep.
Former Milwaukee Brewers prospect Simon Guehring paced the Heidekoepfe with three hits.
Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former internationall baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.