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Apr '11 28

Preview: Austrian Baseball in high gear; Vienna hosts two exciting series



By Johannes Godler

All Austrian teams are in action this weekend, with three of the clubs getting their first action of the season. Its been a long Winter for the Vikings, MetroStars, and Cubs, and all three will have to face teams who have at least one weekend of games under their belt. In Vienna, the Wanderers and MetroStars will both play host for double headers scheduled Saturday and Sunday at the Spenadlwiese, while Upper Austria will see games played in Attnang and Gramastetten/Lichtenberg.

Saturday:

Schwechat Blue Bats @ Attnang-Puchheim Athletics

On opening weekend the Blue Bats showed their ability, as well as their inexperience, in a split against Schwaz. Arian Quirantes, the new head coach of the Bats, knows the way to Attnang all too well, having played for the A’s in the past. This year he hopes to weave the talents of players from Schwechat, along with additions from Tulln, Wiener Neustadt, and Feldkirch, into success at Austria’s highest level. The Athletics, meanwhile, are riding high off a sweep of the Highlanders, and will pose a serious challenge on the Bats’ road to the playoffs.

Stockerau City Cubs @ Vienna Wanderers

After losing Conor Casey and Reed Brown, who was selected to the ABL All-Star Team in 2010, the Cubs looked to the US South for a replacement to strengthen the team. The 25-year-old Scott Holstein will get his baptism by fire against the Vienna Wanderers, who already shook off the rust with an opening day split against the defending champs from Attnang. Head Coach Sakanashi’s side has had two weeks to fine-tune their defense and swings, and as long as they show the form they had in their opening win, they’ll be a tough nut for the Cubs to crack.

Schwaz Tigers @ RiCoHighlanders

The field in Gramastetten has yet to host an ABL matchup, but that will change this weekend as the Highlanders celebrate their home opener for 2011. All winter and spring, the men worked diligently on Martin Schütz Field in anticipation of this day. Their first series against the Attnang-Puchheim Athletics didn’t go exactly as hoped, as they suffered two big losses at the hands of last years champions. They’ll build on the positive however, as they were able to jump out to early leads in both games. The Tigers from Schwazwill enter the game hungry, however, as they were only able to take a split from their opening series.

Sunday:

Kufstein Vikings  @ Vienna Metrostars

On Sunday in Vienna, it won’t just be a duel between brothers Tobias Schermer and Werner Harrasser, but a matchup of to very similar teams.Schermer moved over to Vienna in the offseason, and both teams are filled with young talent and look to turn it into postseason success this year. The Vikings are taking the long ride to the capital for their first series of the new season. Harrasser, Hida, and Marelich return to lead Kufstein, while a new name sits prominently on the Metro Stars line-up card: Jeff Tezak. The Californian import will fill a hole in the infield and provide some pop to the lineup, and set the pace for his young teammates.

Schedule

Time Home Visitor Field
Dates and Times are subject to change! In case of doubt check with the responsible national federation!
Saturday, April 30 2011
12:00 Rico Highlanders Schwaz Tigers Martin-Schütz-... Austria
13:00 Athletics Attnang-Puchheim Schwechat Blue Bats Athletics Ballp... Austria
14:00 Vienna Wanderers Stock City Cubs Spenadlwiese Pr... Austria

Standings

# Team W L R+ R- .pct GB Streak
1 Athletics Attnang-Puchheim 24 4 224 87 .857 0 W9
2 Vienna Wanderers 22 6 227 82 .785 2 L1
3 Vienna Metrostars 18 10 243 117 .642 6 L1
4 Schwaz Tigers 14 14 204 190 .500 10 L2
5 Schwechat Blue Bats 10 18 147 247 .357 14 L6
6 Stock City Cubs 10 18 119 165 .357 14 W1
7 Rico Highlanders 7 21 149 260 .250 17 L3
8 SU Kufstein Vikings 7 21 116 281 .250 17 W1


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