Action in the German Bundesliga resumes this week with the top teams in both groups facing a formidable opponent. Below is a preview of this weekends action.
#1 Solingen (12-2) vs. #4 Cologne (8-5)
The Alligators overall record at the European Cup was disappointing but the team was very competitive. Solingen will be looking to get top hitter Joseph Besl .460 (23-for-50) back on track. The Cardinals have had difficulty scoring runs this year but speedy Anderson Echavarria is hitting .442 (19-for-43) with 10 stolen bases.
#2 Bonn Capitals (12-4) vs. #6 HSV Stealers (3-10)
The Capitals are riding a six game win streak while the Stealers have dropped four in a row. Bonn has scored 122 runs and are paced by Christian Nsien (.447) and Tim Henkenjohann (7-1, 2.45, 80K). HSV is led by Brehan Murphy (.333) and Thomas Riedner (2-3, 3.81).
#5 Neunkirchen (6-8) vs. #3 Paderborn U’s (10-6)
The Untouchables will be looking to turn things back around after losing three of their last four games. Benigno Ozuna (6-2, 2.51) leads a staff that has given up only 44 runs in 112 innings while sporting a nifty 2.64 ERA. After losing six straight, Urs Kortas (.346) and Neunkirchen have won two in a row.
#1 Regensburg (15-3) vs. #3 Mainz (11-7)
Regensburg will be looking to rebound from a disappointing trip to Hoofddorp last week. Klaus Hopfensperger .451(23-for-51) has 16 RBI’s and leads a team hitting .331 with 120 runs scored. Led by top hitter Sascha Lutz .500 (28-for-56) , Mainz will rely heavily on the arm of Manuel Moller (7-1, 2.28) to inch closer to the division leaders.
#5 Mannheim (9-9) vs. #2 Heidenheim (12-6)
After a slow start the Tornados have won 9 out of 12 games thanks to the hitting of Marvin Appiah (.407) and William Hess (.404). Francisco Zapata has been a force on the mound going 6-1 with a 3.17 ERA. Another streaking team, Heidenheim has won 8 out of nine including four straight. Led by Simon Guhring (.457) and Doug Kruthaupt (.434), this high-scoring team made it to the championship game at the CEB Cup last weekend.
#4 Saarlouis (10-8) vs. #6 Haar Disciples (8-10)
A key game for both teams as the Hornets and their star import, Chris Sweeney (.462, 7HR, 29 RBI), look to stop a confident Haar squad that has won five of their last seven games. Top hurler Eddie Aucoin (6-3, 2.08) has fanned 69 in 65 innings for the Disciples.
#7 Gauting (5-13) vs. #8 Tubingen (2-16)
Two teams going in the wrong direction will have a good chance to pick up a “W” when the Indians – who have lost 8 of their last 9 games – meet the Hawks who have dropped 13 straight games.