The highlight of Week 6 of the Ben’s Bundesliga was the long-awaited match-up between the undefeated defending champion Heidenheim Heideköpfe (10-0) and the challengers from Regensburg (9-1). The clubs each claimed a victory in the series, which keeps Regensburg one game behind in the standings. Elsewhere in the league, Mannheim and Munich-Haar each climbed to .500, with the Tornados sweeping the Stuttgart Reds, which after a 6-0 start has gone just 1-5 in its last six games. Finally, play in the Bundesliga North got underway, though continued pandemic restrictions meant that only the Solingen-Hamburg series, which the Alligators swept, was played.
Heidenheim Heideköpfe at Guggenberger Legionäre Regensburg (8-3, 4-10)
The long-awaited series got underway with a bang, with six runs scored in the first frame. Heidenheim put four on the board in a shock to the hosts, with a pair of two-run homers accounting for the runs. On a windy Friday night in Regensburg, Simon Gühring sent a safety-swing fly ball over the right-centerfield fence to open the scoring and Ludwig Glasser, after league home run leader Shawn Larry was pitched around, pulled a belt-high fastball over the left-field fence to make it 4-0.
In the home half of the inning, Heidenheim starter Mike Bolsenbroek’s lead was down to 4-1 and he was facing two runners in scoring pitching after just 11 pitches, which suggested the match-up of the league’s two two pitching staffs and top two offenses would be dominated by the bats. But Bolsenbroek struck out the next two batters to end the threat and took control of the game from that point forward, ultimately allowing just the one run and three hits in 6.2 innings of work. He struck out 10.
Larry added a two-run homer of his own in the third inning as Heidenheim celebrated its eleventh victory of the season.
Game Two saw Regensburg score all the runs it needed in the first inning, with six Regensburgers touching home, four of them on Elias von Garßen’s grand slam. Regensburg starter Kaleb Bowman allowed just two runs in six effective innings to secure his fourth win of the season.
Mannheim Tornados at Stuttgart Reds (13-10, 15-2)
The Tornados swept the Reds on Sunday afternoon to balance out their record at 6-6, with the Game One victory the result of a ninth-inning rally. Trailing 10-8 heading into the final frame, the Tornados scored five runs on three hits (and two costly errors) to take the lead and ultimately secure the W.
Game Two was closer than it seemed, with the Tornados scoring nine runs in the ninth, thanks to four home runs, to extend their lead to 15-2, the game’s final result. Victor Cole II collected the win, his second of the season, in a 140-pitch complete game in which he allowed just five hits and struck out 14.
All told, the Mannheim batters sent 12 balls flying over outfield wall on Sunday, with Merlin Bendlin, Thomas De Wolf, Dominik Höpfner, and Derek Romberg each collecting two homers.
Munich-Haar Disciples at ITsure Falcons Ulm (21-4, 22-3)
The Disciples swept the Falcons on the back of 43 runs on 31 hits, four of them home runs, to return to .500. The Disciples have now won five games in a row and will host the similarly resurgent Mannheim Tornados (also 6-6) on Thursday.
Game One’s star was Daniel Patrice, who homered in the second, third, and fourth innings. He finished the game 3-for-5 with seven RBI. Will Thorp added three RBI of his own in the 21-4 win. In Game Two, which the Disciples won by mercy rule in less than two hours, Francisco Riestra was 4-for-6 and drove in four. David Dinski homered and tallied three RBI.
Mainz Athletics at Tübingen Hawks (14-6, 0-10)
The Hawks managed to take Game Two from the Athletics, giving the club a 3-3 record since player-manager Josh Wyant joined the squad in Week 4 of the season. And it was Wyant’s pitching that helped the Hawks secure the W, with his eight shutout innings (3H, 6K) completed in an economical 88 pitches. The game score of 82 places Wyant’s outing among the top pitching performances of the season.
Game One was another matter entirely, with the Athletics cruising to victory behind an offensive performance that yielded 14 runs on 14 hits, with seven bases on balls thrown in for good measure. First baseman Tim Kotowski’s fourth-inning grand slam was the offensive highlight of the day. All told, he went 2-for-6 with the homer and five RBI in the Game One victory.
Hamburg Stealers at Solingen Alligators (12-5, 10-5)
The Solingen Alligators cruised to an Opening Day sweep in the Bundesliga North, with Jake MacDonald continuing where he left off last season for the Alligators. The Canadian went a combined 4-for-9 with two homers, one in each game. He drove in four runs and scored four himself. In both games, the Alligators got off to early starts that gave them comfortable cushions. In Game One, the club led 10-0 after three innings, with the score 8-0 after three innings in Game Two.
The silver lining for the Stealers is that the offense did manage 24 hits in the two contests, with seven of them for extra bases, but the defense allowed seven errors in the series, with only 13 of the 22 runs allowed recorded as being earned by the pitching staff.
Bundesliga South — STANDINGS
|2.||Guggenberger Legionäre Regensburg||10||2||.833||1|
|8.||ITsure Falcons Ulm||0||12||.000||11|
Bundesliga North — STANDINGS
|6.||Dohren Wild Farmers||0||0||.000||1|