Archive | May, 2014

Independent Baseball League Stadium Ratings Part 2

We are back with Part 2 of our ratings. This time we take a look at the American Association, United League Baseball, and Pecos League. Not all of the stadiums for these leagues are available via, so we are basing it on what we do have.

There are a few other leagues we did not factor into our ratings. First of all, the Freedom Pro League plays at some of the Arizona Spring Training fields so we did not rank them. The newly formed Independent Baseball League had no stadiums rated via Stadium Journey. It looks as thought they are playing at municipal and local high school fields and if they were in the rankings, they would probably be last based on some of the photos I have seen.

All of the ratings come from The ratings take into account different aspects including atmosphere, food, and even bang for your buck. Click on any team name to view the Stadium Journey rating for each one, see some stadium photos, and see why each has the rating it does.

American Association – The AA is located throughout the US from Texas to Minnesota. It is one of the more established leauges, but there are rumors a few teams may bolt next year due to travel costs.

Amarillo Sox (3.6) – The Sox play at Amarillo National Bank Sox Stadium. The stadium is old (opened in 1949) and has featured teams in many different leagues over the years. It seems the stadium gets a higher score due to some great fans and good value.

Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks (3.3) – The Redhawks play at Newman Outdoor Field which is also home to the North Dakota State Bison. The stadium opened in 1996 and is better known as “The Nest”.

Gary SouthShore RailCats (3.1) – The RailCats play at U.S. Steel Yard. It holds 6,000 people and opened in 2002.

Grand Prairie AirHogs (3.0) – The AirHogs play at Quick Trip Park which opened in 2008. With a capacity of just over 5,400, this is a nice place to catch a game. Afterwards you can walk on over to Lone Star Park and bet on the horses if you wish.

Kansas City T-Bones (3.7) – The T-Bones play at Community America Park which opened in 2003. With a capacity of over 6,500 it is one of the bigger stadiums in the league but not the biggest.

Lincoln Saltdogs (4.0) – The Saltdogs play at Haymarket Park which is also home to the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The park was built in 2001 and holds 8,500 fans which is the biggest stadium in the AA.

Sioux City Explorers (3.3) – The Explorers play at Lewis & Clark Park which opened in 1993. The Explorers were one of the Northern League teams when the league was reborn in 1993. The stadium has a capacity of over 3,600.

Sioux Falls Canaries (2.9) – The Canaries, formerly known as the Pheasants, play at Sioux Falls Stadium. The stadium was built in 1941 but was renovated as recently as 2000. It holds 4,500 people and is known as the “Birdcage”.

St. Paul Saints (4.0) – The Saints play at Midway Stadium which was built in 1982. It holds a little over 6,300 and is known more for what goes on on the field than the actual stadium.

Winnipeg Goldeyes (4.0) – The Goldeyes play at Shaw Park and is the only team in the AA from Canada. The team has played in Winnipeg since 1994 but only at Shaw Park since 1999. The stadium holds almost 7,500

Average score (two stadiums have not been reviewed) 3.49

Can-Am League – The Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball sits now as just a four team league. The league has two teams in each the US and Canada.

New Jersey Jackals (3.1) – The Jackals play at Yogi Berra Stadium which was built in 1998. With a capacity of just over 3,700, the stadium has seen the Jackals compete in three different leagues.

Rockland Boulders (3.3) – The Boulders play at Provident Bank Park which was built in 2011. The new stadium holds 4,500 people.

Average score (two stadiums have not been reviewed) 3.2

United League Baseball – The ULB is located in Texas with four teams and three stadiums (one travel team). A few of the teams are well established including one that plays on historic grounds.

Ft. Worth Cats (3.0) – The Cats play at historic La Grave Field. It has been rebuilt but on the same spot where many historic figures have played in the past. The stadium is nice, but nothing spectacular, sitting just outside of downtown Ft. Worth.

San Angelo Colts (3.0) – The Colts play at Foster Field which is also home to the Angelo State Rams. Built in 2000 it seats 4,200 and features Triple-A lighting. It is a bit more state of the art than some of the other ULB stadiums.

Rio Grande Valley White Wings (2.3) – The White Wings play at Harlingen Field. It is an older park that has undergone numerous renovations but doesn’t really add anything extra to the equation.

Edinburg Roadrunners (2.4) – This stadium is no longer used in the ULB but was in the past when the Roadrunners played at Edinburg Stadium.

Average score (without defunct stadium/team) 2.76

Pecos League – The Pecos League started in 2010 and features teams in the Southwest of the US in parts of New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado. Most of the parks are city fields and not built specifically for professional baseball.

Trinidad Triggers (2.6) – The Triggers might be most famous for their show on Fox Sports 1 that shows the team in the low minors. They play at Central Park that was built in 1960 and holds 887.

Las Cruces Vaqueros (2.3) – The team and field are no longer used by the Pecos League.

Average score (without defunct stadium/team) 2.6

Final Rankings:

1. Atlantic League 3.65
2. Frontier League 3.53
3. American Association 3.49
4. Can-Am League 3.2
5. United League Baseball 2.76
6. Pecos League 2.6
*Independent Baseball League and Freedom Pro League not rated

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with the ratings?

Posted in N. America, Minors2 Comments

Independent Baseball League Stadium Ratings Part 1

Independent baseball leagues often get overlooked when fans are looking to spend their  money. However, sometimes they are a great deal and ,depending on the league, there are some really nice stadiums that fans can see. I have been fascinated with indy leagues since reading a few books on them. So I thought we could look at some of the indy league stadiums and see which league has the best ones to visit.

All of the ratings come from The ratings take into account different aspects including atmosphere, food, and even bang for your buck. Click on any team name to view the Stadium Journey rating for each one, see some stadium photos, and see why each has the rating it does.

Atlantic League – The Atlantic League is generally regarded as the best indy league based on the former MLB talent that the leagues higher salaries tends to bring in. They also have some of the finest stadiums in independent baseball.

Lancaster Barnstormers (3.4) – The Barnstormers play at Clipper Magazine Stadium which was built in 2005. The capacity is 6,000

Bridgeport Bluefish (2.9) – The Bluefish play at The Ballpark at Harbor Park which opened in 1998. It is one of the older stadiums and has the lowest rating among the Atlantic League teams. It has a capacity of 5,300.

Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (3.9) – The Blue Crabs play at Regency Furniture Stadium built in 2008. The stadium holds 4,200 sitting not too far outside of Washington D.C.

Camden Riversharks (4.0) – The Riversharks play at Campbell’s Field. The stadium opened in 2001 since the team’s inception.  It holds just over 6,400.

Long Island Ducks (4.0) – The Ducks, one of the more famous indy teams coming off back-to-back championships, play at Bethpage Ballpark. The park opened in 2000 and holds just over 6,000 people.

Sugar Land Skeeters (4.1) – The Skeeters, one of the newest indy teams, play at Constellation Field. The stadium opened in 2012 and holds 7.500 fans. It also stands as the league’s best ballpark.

York Revolution (3.3) – The Revolution play at Santander Stadium which was built in 2007. The stadium features a retro manual scoreboard and seats 5,200.

Average score (no score for the Somerset Patriots) 3.65

Frontier League – Based out of the Midwest, the Frontier League features fourteen teams and thirteen stadiums (one travel team). The league formed in 1993.

Evansville Otters (4.1) – The Otters play at Bosse Field that opened in 1915. It is the third oldest stadium still in regular use behind Fenway and Wrigley. It was also home to the 1991 movie A League of Their Own.

Florence Freedom (3.9) – The Freedom play at UCMC Stadium. It opened in 2004 and holds 4,500 people.

Lake Erie Crushers (3.1) – The Crushers play at All Pro Freight Stadium which opened in 2009. A newer stadium it holds 5,000.

Southern Illinois Miners (3.6) – The Miners play at Rent One Park. Located in tiny Marion, population 17,000, the stadium was built in 2007 and can hold nearly half of the city with a capacity of 7,000.

Traverse City Beach Bums (3.7) – The Beach Bums play at Wuerful Park which opened in 2006. With one of the best looking entrances, it looks like a beach house, the stadium holds just over 4,600.

Washington Wild Things (3.4) – The Wild Things play at CONSOL Energy Park built in 2002. The stadium hold 5,000.

Gateway Grizzlies (4.0) – The Grizzlies play at GCS Ballpark just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. The park holds 6,000 fans and routinely they place high in the attendance standings.

Joliet Slammers (3.3) – The Slammers play at Silver Cross Field. The stadium opened in 2002 and holds around 6,000 people.

Normal CornBelters (3.3) – The CornBelters play at The Corn Crib. The stadium opened in 2010 and its seems everything there is corn themed. It holds 7,000 fans.

River City Rascals (3.9) – The Rascals play at T.R. Hughes Ballpark which opened in 1999. With a capacity at just over 3,600, the stadium has seen some interesting events including a home run derby between Albert Pujols and Shaquille O’Neal.

Rockford Aviators (3.1) – The Aviators play at Aviators Stadium which opened in 2006. It holds just over 4,200 fans.

Schaumburg Boomers (3.3) – The Boomers play at Boomers Stadium that was built in 1999. The stadium holds a little over 7,300.

Windy City Thunderbolts (3.3) – The Thunderbolts play at Standard Bank Stadium. Built in 1999, it holds a little more than 3,100.

Average score 3.53

Part 2 will be posted tomorrow and will include a few more leagues including the American Association, United League Baseball, and the Pecos League.

What do you think? Do you agree with these ratings? What is your favorite independent league stadium?

Posted in N. America, Minors0 Comments

France: Four Way Battle for First in Division 1 Standings

The first two months are over in the French Division 1 league and surprisingly the Rouen Huskies are not leading the league.

Rouen, who have won eight straight titles, sits in fourth place currently. However, they are not far out of first. Both the Montpellier Barracudas and the Senart Templiers are leading the league with an 11-5 record. Rouen and Paris UC are right behind the top two teams at 10-6.

None of the top teams seem to want to take control of the league lead and pull away. Over the past weekend, Rouen split with Paris UC and Montpellier split with Stade Toulouse. Senart split as well after winning big in Game 1 of the weekend.

French Division 1 Standings:

1. Montpellier Barracudas 11-5
2. Senart Templiers 11-5
3. Paris UC 10-6
4. Rouen Huskies 10-6
5. Stade Touluse 7-5
6. Beaucaire Chevaliers 5-7
7. Savigny Lions 2-8
8. Chartes French Cubs 0-14

Posted in Europe0 Comments

Netherlands: Three Way Race for Top Two Spots Heading into Last Weekend of First Half

The first half of the Dutch Major League is about to conclude in the Netherlands. The race for the top spot is still up for grabs even with just a few games left in the first half. The Vaessen Pioniers lead the league so far with a record of 14-2-1 just a single point ahead of both the DOOR Neptunus and L&D Amsterdam.

Vaessen will face off with Amsterdam this weekend in a three game series. With the top two teams qualifying for the semifinals, this series will be huge as one team could knock the other out of the race. Vaessen will also have one make up game against UVV to end the first half. That game will be played next Tuesday.

While Vaessen and Amsterdam are battling it out, DOOR Neptunus will take on a 6-13 Mr. Cocker HCAW. The defending champs are set up nicely to qualify for the semifinals after the first half.

Dutch Major League Standings:

1. Vaessen Pioniers 14-2-1
2. DOOR Neptunus 14-4
3. L&D Amsterdam 14-4
4. Corendon Kinheim 12-7
5. Mr. Cocker HCAW 6-13
6. UVV 4-12-2
7. Ado Lakers 4-14-1
8. Mampey the Hawks 3-15

Posted in Europe0 Comments

Italy: Stage One is Nearing an End with Bologna and Rimini Leading

The Italian Baseball League is nearing the end of the first stage round robin play. This year the IBL was split into two groups that played a round robin for the stage one.  Each division has four teams. In Group A are defending champion T&A San Marino, Unipol Bologna, Godo Knights, and newbie Padua. Group B consists of Rimini, Nettuno, Nettuno 2, and Parma.

In Group A, Unipol Bologna has all but wrapped up the win with a record of 15-1. T&A San Marino sits behind them in second place at 9-6 with Padua (6-10) and Godo (5-11) pretty much out of the running.

Over in Group B, there is a tight race for the top spot heading into the second stage. Telemarket Rimini leads the group with a record of 10-5, but Parma is close behind at 10-6. Nettuno (6-10) and Nettuno 2 (2-14) are well behind the group leaders.

Each team has just four to five games left with the stage one ending the first full weekend of June.

Posted in Europe0 Comments

Germany: Solingen and Heidenheim Lead Divisions

With only about six weeks to play in the German Bundesliga, the Solingen Alligators are dominating the competition in the North Division. The Alligators lead the North with a record of 15-1, with the only loss coming to the Paderborn Untouchables 4 to 3. Since the loss the Alligators have run off seven straight wins including a sweep of second place Bonn a few weeks ago.

The Alligators are led offensively by Tanner Leighton who leads the team in HR (5), RBI (20), runs (18), hits (25), doubles (7), and average (.455). Moritz Buttgereit (.411/.479/.554), Markus Stryczek (.324/.468/.595), and Dustin Hughes (.351/.433/.544) have all added a pair of home runs for the first place Alligators.

On the hill Chris Mezger has dominated the competition as the Alligators ace. He has tossed 51.0 innings striking out 79 and only walking 7 en route to a 7-0 record with an ERA of just 0.529. Andre Hughes has pitched well out of the pen picking up a win and two saves.

In the South Division a new name is atop the standings as the Heidenheim Heidekopfe are leading with a record of 15-3. They sit just ahead of powerhouse Regensburg who is 15-5.

Heidenheim has an eight game winning streak going right now that included a weekend sweep of rival Regensburg.

James McOwen leads the Heidenheim offense so far hitting at a clip of .400/.451/.680. He has clubbed four home runs and nine doubles to lead the team. Andrew Smith is also off to a hot start. Smith is hitting a team leading .470. Power has come throughout the line up so far with Luke Sommer (3), Smith (2), Jay Pecci (2), Robert Gruber (2), and Simon Guhring (2) all hitting more than one home run.

On the hill Sommer has been solid so far as well. He has pitched in five games, won three, saved one, and has an ERA of just 0.885 in 20.1 innings pitched. Tyler Lockwood has been solid as well going 7-0 while logging 58.2 innings for Heidenheim.

North Division Standings:

1. Solingen Alligators 15-1
2. Bonn Capitals 12-4
3. Paderborn Untouchables 9-3
4. HSV Stealers 6-8
5. Dohren Wild Farmers 5-13
6. Cologne Cardinals 4-12
7. Dortmund Wanderers 3-13

South Division Standings:

1. Heidemheim Heidekopfe 15-3
2. Buchbinder Legionaere 15-5
3. Stuttgart Reds 10-6
4. Mannheim Tornados 9-7
5. Mainz Athletics 8-10
6. Haar Disciples 7-9
7. Tubingen Hawks 2-14
8. Bad Homburg Hornets 2-14

Posted in Europe3 Comments

College: Top 8 Seeds Fight for Spot in Omaha

The Road to Omaha kicks off today as the regional round starts today at sixteen different spots around the country.  As the rounds progress you can follow the bracket here.

The top eight seeds were announced earlier this week with the Oregon State Beavers (42-12) picking up the top seed. In the top eight there were a few teams nobody expected when the season began. Following up Oregon State is SEC power Florida (40-21). The SEC only placed two teams this  year in the top 8 seeds. Next up at #3 is Virginia (44-13), followed by #4 Indiana (42-13), #5 Florida State (44-15), #6 UL-Lafayette (53-7), #7 TCU (42-15), and #8 LSU (44-14-1).

The top eight seeds don’t really match up with the final rankings as all of the major polls had UL-Lafayette ranked first. In fact many of the polls had a few teams outside of the top 10 including TCU and Indiana.

LSU (SEC), TCU (Big 12), Indiana (Big 10), and UL-Lafayette (Sun Belt) all won their conference tournaments. Oregon State won the Pac-12 but there is no conference tournament.

National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association Poll


Rank School Record Previous
1 Louisiana-Lafayette 53-7 2
2 Oregon State 42-12 1
3 Virginia 44-13 3
4 LSU 44-14-1 8
5 Florida State 43-15 6
6 Cal Poly 45-10 4
7 Oklahoma State 45-16 7
8 Louisville 45-15 5
9 Houston 44-15 12
10 Florida 40-21 14
11 Indiana 42-16 18
12 South Carolina 41-18 9
13 Vanderbilt 41-18 10
14 Miami (Fla.) 41-17 11
15 Rice 41-18 17
16 TCU 42-15 20
17 Mississippi 41-18 16
18 Washington 39-15-1 13
19 Oregon 42-18 15
20 Texas 38-18 19
21 Nebraska 40-19 24
22 Mississippi State 37-22 21
23 Texas Tech 40-18 22
24 Pepperdine 39-16 29
25 Sam Houston State 41-17 23
26 Clemson 36-23 26
27 Arkansas 38-23 27
28 Dallas Baptist 40-19 30
29 Alabama 34-22 25
30 San Diego State 42-19 NR

Dropped Out: No. 28 Liberty.

Others Receiving Votes (Listed Alphabetically): Arizona State (33-22), Bryant (42-14), Cal State Fullerton (32-22), Campbell (40-19), College of Charleston (41-17), Columbia (29-18), Creighton (32-17-1), Georgia Tech (36-25), Indiana State (35-16), Kentucky (35-23), Liberty (41-16), Long Beach State (32-24), Maryland (36-21), Old Dominion (36-24), Sacramento State (39-22), UNLV (35-23).

Posted in N. America, College0 Comments

College: 2014 Olerud Award Watch List Released

Press Release College Baseball Hall of Fame

Small schools well-represented among 10 honorees

LUBBOCK, Texas — As postseason play begins for many teams across the country, the National College Baseball Hall of Fame has released the initial watch list for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award.

The award, named for the Washington State star who achieved success as both a first baseman and a left-handed pitcher, will be presented as part of the annual College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions on June 28 in Lubbock, Texas.

Players from across the country and representing schools both large and small highlight the list. Among the smaller schools on the list are Central Connecticut State and South Carolina Upstate.

“These may be smaller schools, but the young men from these schools have statistics that stack up against any other school in the country,” said Chris Curbo, Olerud Award co-chair. “They have impressive numbers both on the mound and at the plate, and that makes them very valuable to their teams, regardless of the size of their school or the conference they play in.”

Kentucky standout A.J. Reed has the highest batting average among the watch-list honorees at .359, and he has 22 home runs. He also has a 2.11 earned-run average in 98 innings pitched and has played in 54 games.

Louisiana-Lafayette senior left-hander and outfielder Ryan Wilson has the lowest ERA on the watch list at 1.55 in 52 1/3 innings pitched. He also has a .250 batting average.

“This list represents players from across the country,” Curbo said. “It’s a small number of players who are called two-way players, and we’re proud to honor their contributions.”

For more information on the Olerud Award or the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions,





Nick Howard



Erik Samples

South Carolina Upstate

Atlantic Sun

Jacob Cronenworth


Big Ten

J.D. Davis

Cal State Fullerton

Big West

Michael Foster



Drew Reynolds

East Carolina

Conference USA

Josh Ingham

Central Connecticut State


A.J. Reed



Ryan Wilson

Louisiana – Lafayette

Sun Belt

Aaron Brown


West Coast

Posted in N. America, College0 Comments

College: Semifinalists Announced for Brooks Wallace Award

Press Release College Baseball Hall of Fame

ACC, SEC continue to dominate watch list for nation’s top shortstop

LUBBOCK, Texas — The Southeastern Conference dominated the bids for NCAA regional play with 10 teams, and it also, along with the Atlantic Coast Conference, dominates the semifinalist list for the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award.

The Brooks Wallace Award, sponsored by Mizuno, recognizes the nation’s top shortstop and will be presented during the National College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions on June 28 in Lubbock, Texas.

“The players from these two conferences have stood out throughout the season,” said Tyler Young, Wallace Award co-chair. “To have six players from these two conferences consistently make it through the selection process is quite remarkable.”

Vanderbilt’s Vince Conde and Mercer’s Michael Massi both have the best fielding percentage among the semifinalists at .982. Conde also has a .306 batting average with nine doubles, one triple, four home runs and 43 RBIs. Massi has a .346 average with 13 doubles, two triples and five home runs.

Tennessee Tech’s Dylan Bosheers leads in several offensive categories, including batting average (.368), home runs (11) and RBIs (56).

North Carolina’s Michael Russell leads the semifinalists in doubles with 19.

“Each of these players has recorded great statistics all season,” said Larry Wallace, award co-chair. “They each bring something to the table and will make the selection of the three finalists difficult.”

For more information on the Brooks Wallace Award or the National College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions, visit





Blake Schmit



Michael Russell

North Carolina


Trea Turner

North Carolina State


Michael Massi


Atlantic Sun

Sam Haggerty

New Mexico

Mountain West

Dylan Bosheers

Tennessee Tech

Ohio Valley

Mikey White



Alex Bregman



Vince Conde



Blake Trahan

Louisiana – Lafayette

Sun Belt

Posted in N. America, College0 Comments

Switzerland: Zurich Barracudas Defeat Lucerne Eagles in Battle for First Place

By Christopher Byrnes The second place Lucerne Eagles travelled to Zurich to take on the first place Zurich Barracudas. Both ball clubs made key offseason aquistions and are much improved this season.  The Eagles were looking to swep the Barracudas and take over first place but the Barracudas were triumphant winning both games by a score of 8-6. The Barracudas continue to play solid fundamental baseball and move to the top of the NLA with a 8-1 record. The Eagles fall back to 4-4 and retain the last playoff spot in a very tight NLA race. Swiss NLA REGULAR SEASON

Zürich Barracudas 8 1 .889
Therwil Flyers 7 5 .583 2.5
Bern Cardinals 7 5 .583 2.5
Luzern Eagles 4 4 .500 3.5
Zürich Challengers 4 5 .444 4
Zürich Lions 0 10 .000 8.5

Game 1 Summary –  Zurich Barracudas 8 – Lucerne Eagles 6 Andi Rüesch coming off a strong performance last week started for the Barracudas while Andrea Girasole started for the Eagles. The Eagles jumped on Rüesch in the first inning scoring two runs. Leadoff man Sammy Paulino singled and Raphael Strub doubled to score the first run. Strub moved to third base on a ground out by Rudi Vargas and then scored on a slow ground ball to 1st base to make it 2-0 Eagles. The Barracudas got one run back in bottom of the first when Harry Wischnewski walked and stole his ninth base of the season and scored on an Eagle error to make it 2-1. In the bottom of the third inning, the Barracudas erupted for three runs to make the score 4-2. Josh Crouse hit a long double, Strahil Georgiev followed with a 12 pitch at bat and finally getting hit by pitch and then Nderim Coma smashed a double to score both runners. Nelson Santana followed with a single to score Coma. The Eagles came right back in the fourth inning to make the score 4-3 when Tom Enz smoked a double and scored on an infield error. The Barracudas broke the game open in the bottom of the 5th inning scoring three runs to make the score 7-3. Chris Michal singled and stole second base and Nderim Coma once again hit a double to score Michals. Bert Marsnik then singled to place runners on the corner.  Coma scored on a Nelson Santana ground out and Marsnik scored when  Andi Rüesch smacked a single to right field. The Barracudas added an insurance run in the 6th when Strahil Georgiev walked and Chris Michals cracked a single to right field placing runners on the corners. Nderim Coma singled with two strikes to right field for his fourth RBI on the day to score Georgiev and make it 8-3. The Eagles did not give up and scored another run in the 7th inning when Patrick Maier led off and laced a double which was followed by a double from Sammy Paulino. Rudi Vargas then hit a single to score Paulino to make it a 8-5 ball game. The Eagles scored another run in the 9th inning when Rüesch hit the first two batters and gave up an RBI single to Edwin Martinez Hernandez. Rüesch went the distance for the third time this year and earned his fourth victory. Offensively, the Barracudas were led by Nderim Coma who went 3-4 on the day with 4rbi and two runs scored. Josh Crouse, Chris Michals and Bert Marsnik all had two hit days .  The Eagles were led by Paulino, Enz and Vargas each producing two hits on a piece on the day. Barracudas Josh Crouse delivering a double Untitled                       Game two – Zurich Barracudas 8 – Lucerne Eagles 6 In the second game the Eagles were looking for redemption and sent their power pitcher Mario Idelfonso to the mound to face Chris Michals.  The Eagles once again came out strong to take the lead in the 1st inning by scoring a run on three consecutive singles by Rafael Strub, Michal Settle and Rudi Vargas. The Barracudas took advantage of some first inning control problems from Idelfonso when Harry Wischnewski walked and scored on a wild pitch to knot the game at 1-1. The Barracudas broke the game open in the 3rd inning scoring four runs to make the score 5-1. Nelson Santana singled and Hasson Rogers playing his first game of the season also singled. Marcel Loco Ochsner laid down a great sac bunt in the Bermuda triangle that the Eagles could not defend and that loaded the bases with no outs.  Harry Wischnewski came to the plate and he ripped a single up the middle to score two runs.  Josh Crouse then added and RBI on a hard ground out and Wischnewski came around to score when Bert Marsnik delivered a single. The Eagles just like in game one continued to fight back and scored two runs in the top of the 6th to make it a 5-3 ball game. Rudi Vargas got the Eagles going with a single and Patrick Maier delivered a nice rbi triple down the right field line and Edwin Martinez Hernandez followed with a single to get the Eagles back in the game. The Barracudas responded and increase their lead to 8-4  in the bottom 8th when Josh Crouse walked and Bert Marsnik singled and pitcher Chris Michals delivered a double to score two runs. The Eagles fought back scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth and had the tying run on second when Michals shut the door by striking out the last batter to earn his fourth win on the season. The Barracudas were led offensively by Chris Michals who went 2-4 and 2 rbi’s and Harry Wischnewski who had a single and two rbi’s. The Barracudas will face the Zurich Lions next weekend in Zurich

Posted in Europe0 Comments

Switzerland: Zurich Barracudas Sweep the Bern Cardinals

By Christopher Byrnes

The Zurich Barracudas travelled to Bern to face the defending champions with both teams fighting for first place.  The Barracudas prevailed in game 1 with great pitching from Andi Rüesch by a score of 2-0 and took the night cap with Chris Michaels throwing a 3 hit 15 strike out performance to win 5-3 and push the Barracudas to the top of the Swiss NLA leader board with a record of 6-1.

In game one the Barracudas gave the ball to Andi Rüesch 2-0 on the season to face the Cardinals ace Tobias Imboden. The Barracudas struck first by scoring two unearned runs in the top of the first off Imboden. The Cardinals defense allowed two errors to start the game as both Josh Crouse and Bert Marsnik reached on errors and Marsnik scored on a bloop single by Chris Michaels and Harry Wischnewski scored on a Nderim Coma sac fly to make it 2-0 Barracudas. The Cardinals mounted a rally in the bottom of the sixth inning when Santo Pena walked, Thierry Burkhardt singled and Steven McIntosh executed a nice sac bunt to place runners on 2nd and 3rd base with two outs. Johnny Perigos one of the most dangerous hitters in Swiss baseball stepped to the plate to try to tie the game. The Barracudas with first base open walked Perigos to load the bases to face cleanup hitter Ernesto Pereira. Rüesch fell behind 2-0 in the count but he stayed calm and made his pitch on the outside of the plate and Pereira flied out to left field to end the inning. This was the key play and the turning point for the Barracudas.

Both pitchers were lights out but it was Rüesch in the end who won the battle moving to 3-0  on the season getting his second complete game and the shutout and lowering his season era to 0.91. Tobias Imboden pitched just as well going the distance allowing no earned runs but fell to 1-2 on the season with a 1.33 era.

 Game Two – Barracudas 5 – Cardinals 3

In the second game the defending champs gave the ball to their import pitcher Ernesto Pereira who has been spectacular all season in hopes of winning the night cap. The Barracudas sent their import pitcher Chris Michals to the mound with a sweep on their minds.  The Barracudas once again struck first with a run in the first inning when Josh Crouse led off with a walk and advanced on a passed ball. Harry Wischnewski then singled Crouse to third base and Wischnewski stole second base. Chris Michals grounded out to score Crouse from 3rd base to make it 1-0.

The Cardinals answered back in the bottom of the first when Thierry Burkhardt reached 1st base on an error and moved to second on a single by Johnny Perigos. Michals walked Pereira to load the bases and then Marc Oboussier hit a sac fly to score Burkhardt to knot the score at 1-1.

The Barracudas scored again in the 4th inning when Chris Michals singled moved to second on passed ball and tagged up and moved to 3rd base on fly ball from Nderim Coma. Andi Rüesch stepped to the plate and with the infield in hit a ground ball to second base and Chris Michals was thrown out trying to score. Rüesch moved to second on a passed ball and then scored when Sascha Stanko singled to make it 2-1.

Again the Cardinals answered back in the bottom of the 4th by scoring two runs to take the lead 3-2. Moritz Kocher singled with one out and Miro Bussman grounded to second base but the throw was off line and the Cardinals had runners on 2nd and 3rd base. Michals threw a wild pitch to score Kocher to tie the game and then Thierry Burkhardt reached first on error and Steve McIntosh scored.

The Barracudas settled down after that inning and Chris Michals was dominant the rest of the way. The Barracudas reached Pereira for one run in the 6th when Michals doubled, Coma singled and Marcel Loco Ochsner ripped a single up the middle to tie the score.

The Barracudas kept the pressure on Pereira the rest of the way and in the 8th inning they blew the game open by scoring two runs to make it a 5-3 ball game.  Andi Rüesch led off with a walk and Sascha Stanko executed a perfect sac bunt to move Rüesch into scoring position with one out. Marcel Loco Ochsner once again came threw for the Barracudas by knocking a double down the left field line to score Rüesch with the go ahead run.  This was key to the game. Alex Bruce the young 17 year old came through with a single to move Ochsner to 3rd base and then Josh Crouse hit a sac fly to provide the Barracudas with a very important insurance run.

Chris Michals was absolutely lights out keeping the Cardinals bats off balance all day long. He registered his third win and complete game on the season and struck out 15 batters. His season era is now at a skinny 0.67 to lead the league.

The Barracudas were led offensively by Chris Michals who went 4-7 with 2 rbi’s on the day to raise his average to .347. Marcel Loco Ochsner deliver two clutch hits driving in 2 rbi’s. Alex Bruce also went 3-8 on the day.

Swiss NLA Standings

Tabelle Regular Season

Zürich Barracudas 6 1 .857
Luzern Eagles 4 2 .667 1.5
Therwil Flyers 5 3 .625 1.5
Bern Cardinals 4 5 .444 3
Zürich Challengers 2 3 .400 3
Zürich Lions 0 7 .000 6



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