Posted on 28 September 2011.
SWITZERLAND – Veteran left-handed hitters Stefan Koller and Reto Siegel both homered during a pivotal nine-run eighth inning as the Therwil Flyers opened the 2011 Swiss Finals with a 15-5 victory Saturday over the Bern Cardinals at Kanelmatt 1 in Therwil.
Koller (1-0) went 3-for-5, stole a base, crossed the plate twice, and chased Bern starter Tobias Imboden in the game-deciding frame with a two-run blast. The right-hander allowed a run in two relief frames to notch his second win of the postseason.
Therwil raced out to a quick 2-0 lead in the opening frame on a two-run blast off the bat of American player/coach JB Tucker. But the reigning Swiss champion, making its seventh consecutive appearance in the title series, came charging back in the third.
Vitus Huber’s two-run double knotted the score before American John Baum followed with another two-bagger to give the Cardinals a 3-2 advantage. Johnny Perigos capped the frame with an RBI single.
The Flyers pulled even in the fourth on a run-scoring double by Sebastian “Seppi” Zwyer, and went back on top, 6-4, in the seventh on Daniel Eichenberger’s two-run single.
Bern made it a one-run affair in the top of the eighth on an RBI double by Eduardo Villacis, but Therwil blew the game open in the bottom of the same frame as the first 10 batters reached base en route to the lopsided series-opening victory.
Siegel hit a three-run shot while Tucker drove in three scores for a squad that had six players tally two or more RBIs.
The Cardinals raced out to a 9-0 lead en route to a convincing 11-3 win over the Flyers in Game 2 as Eduardo Villacis (1-0) scattered a run and four hits in six innings.
Koller put together another productive game going 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored.
Bern has won the Swiss national championship (2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010) five of the past six years.
Game 1 – Therwil Flyers 15, Bern Cardinals 5
Game 2 – Bern Cardinals 11, Therwil Flyers 3
Game 3 – Therwil Flyers at Bern Cardinals
Game 4 – Therwil Flyers at Bern Cardinals
Game 5 – Bern Cardinals at Therwil Flyers*
(Series tied at 1-1)
* If necessary
Marvin Moore is a freelance international baseball writer who coached in Europe for six years. He currently teaches baseball to poverty-stricken Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School.
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