With the dominant Traiskirchern Grasshoppers getting the week off, the rest of the league had a chance to shine, and three teams responded with two-game sweeps. Dornbirn continued its perfect run through the league with excellent pitching from Ryan Rupp and Lochlan Southee on the road, and Vienna’s Wanderers and Attnang-Puchheim also claimed victories in both their games. The Vienna MetroStars travelled to Wiener Neustadt, where the Diving Ducks took claimed the season’s first three-game series.
Dornbirn Indians at Hard Bulls (8-3, 10-0)
The leader of the division in the West division prevailed twice in the Vorarlberg Derby doubleheader at Hard on Sunday. Although Schwechat scored twice in the first inning of the opener, Dornbirn pitcher Rupp recovered, with a strong performance until the seventh inning. Then Maximilian Luger took over at the mound and closed the sack for the guests in the 8: 3 success. A home run by Joachim Frick was one of the offensive highlights of the game, while Rupp (3-0) struck out 11, his third consecutive game with double-digit strikeouts.
The second game was very close at first. Until the sixth inning, the focus was on the pitchers and defence of the two teams. Southee continued the dominance from his Week Two no- hitter, though his hitless innings streak ended at 10.1 when Marcel Winder singled to lead off the first. The Indians plated two in the sixth before breaking the game wide open with five more runs an inning later and tacking on three in the eighth to end the game via mercy rule. Southee (3-0) extended his scoreless streak to 16.1 innings with six excellent frames, punching out 11 around a mere three hits and a free pass.
Schwechat Blue Bats at Vienna Wanderers (2-12, 1-11)
The Vienna Wanderers recorded a clear 12-2 success over the Schwechat Blue Bats in the Friday night game, with Julio Díaz lacing a run-scoring single in the second and a two-run hit in the fourth. Angelo Thau (1-1) ensured the lead would hold, allowing only four hits and one earned run in a seven-inning, complete game effort. Dominik Talir was 3-for-4 with two doubles in support. Daniel Walenta (1-0), who served as starting pitcher for the first time this season, scored an 11-1 win in the series’ second game, tossing seven strong innings with just two hits allowed. Four players had two hits in support of him.
Vienna Metrostars at Wiener Neustadt Diving Ducks (8-9, 6-5, 2-3)
In the first six innings, the focus was on the pitchers and defensives of the two teams. Neither Alexander Kienberger, pitching for the hosts, nor MetroStars’ starter Jakob Simonsen allowed runs in the first six innings. In the seventh inning, Peter Ferak gave Vienna the lead with a two-run double. This was followed by an RBI-double from Benni Salzmann and a run-scoring knock from Alex Hilliard.
In the eighth, the Diving Ducks got to work. Joey Randazzo doubled home a run and then scored, but the visitors plated another two in the ninth and Wiener Neustadt faced a four-run margin with three outs remaining. However, Vienna committed an error to set up one run, with a free pass and a hit narrowing the margin further. Finally, Louis Carmago lifted a ball to the outfield for the game-tying run, but no more.
A two-run tenth put the Ducks behind the eight-ball again, but Randazzo came up big again, driving home the first run. After two runners reached base after him, Julian Faulhaber stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and the crack of the bat signalled victory, with Faulhaber’s stroke dropping the ball on the grass as Neustadt emptied the dugout in celebration.
After the Lower Austrians celebrated a walk-off win in bonus innings on Friday, the reigning champions returned the favor on Saturday with a second-straight one-run win. The Vienna Metrostars took advantage of the defensive errors and finally prevailed 6-5.
The last word, however, was given to the Diving Ducks, who ended the third and final duel again with a walk-off of their own. In the second game of the day, the MetroStars’ Alex Seidl dominated on the mound, with a Randazzo double the Ducks’ only hit during his six innings. Ducks’ pitcher Faulhuber allowed a run in the first before settling down and keeping Wiener Neustadt in the duel.
Each side would score one run in the fifth, setting up dramatics in the final frame. In the bottom of the ninth, the tide finally turned for the hosts, and the Ducks loaded the bases on three consecutive hits to start the inning. With the bases loaded, Moritz Scheicher lined a ball to right field as Wiener Neustadt celebrated once more.
Feldkirch Cardinals at Attnang-Puchheim ASAK Athletics (8-15, 1-13)
With a strong offensive attack, the Upper Austrians won twice against the visiting Cardinals in Attnang-Puchheim’s home opener, which was held at an alternate site as Centurions Field is under renovation. Game One was marked by offense on both sides and was a much closer battle than the score might indicate. The defensive departments, however, made some mistakes.
ASAK Athletics set the pace with a 6-0 lead in the second inning. However, the Cardinals answered with four runs of their own over the next couple innings, with half of those runs on a longball by Paul Astl. Only in the fifth could the hosts break away for the first time, with a four-run frame making the score 11-4. Newcomer William Swindling went yard in the sixth, but Florian Wilhelm entered in an early save situation and was magic over 3.2 relief innings. A free pass was the only blemish against him in the 15-8 triumph. Raphael Mayr and veteran Andre Gruber had three hits apiece for the hosts.
In the second game of the double headers, A’s starter Jimmy Jensen set the course from the start. The Upper Austrians came out of the starting blocks faster this time and collected a total of twelve runs in the first four innings en route to a 13-1 final. Jensen struckt out 12 and improved to 2-1. The game also marked the Bundesliga debut of 16-year-old Elias Thurnhofer, while rookie David Taxacher had two safeties in the opener and three more hits in Game Two.
|W. Neustadt D. Ducks||3-4||3-4||.429||2.5||3-2||0-2||37||52||W1|
|Schwechat Blue Bats||0-6||0-4||.000||5||0-0||0-6||20||61||L6|
Week 3 Results
April 23 Wanderers 12 – Blue Bats 2 (7) (Box)
April 23 Diving Ducks 9 – Metrostars 8 (10) (Box)
April 24 Diving Ducks 5 – Metrostars 6 (Box)
April 24 Diving Ducks 3 – Metrostars 2 (Box)
April 24 Athletics 15 – Cardinals 8 (Box)
April 24 Athletics 13– Cardinals 1 (7) (Box)
April 25 Wanderers 11 – Blue Bats 1 (Box)
April 25 Bulls 3 – Indians 8 (Box)
April 25 Bulls 0 – Indians 10 (Box)
Many thanks to the ABF for providing a weekly recap, portions of which have been translated and adapted herein.