by John Baum, Bern Cardinals
The Bern Cardinals fought off a valiant late game effort by the Therwil Flyers to capture their 6th Swiss championship in the last seven years, by a score of 10-5! The Cards got off to a fast start, thanks to a 3-run homer from Cards catcher Seth Suplin in the first inning. A crisp lead off single from Samuel Paulino, and a walk from Vitus Huber set the table for the American backstop. Hide Oshima, the Flyers starting pitcher wasn’t able to get out of the third inning, after surrending two more runs before exiting, leaving his team in a 5-0 hole.
On the other side, Edy Villacis had the Flyers hitters guessing through five innings of work, allowing only three hits, with the lone run coming on a Chris Blackbee homerun. With the score at 5-1, John Baum took the hill in relief, hoping to hold the lead for his team, and bring back another title to Bern. Unfortunately, his effort was matched by strong Flyer hitters. The first pitch he threw resulted in a JB Tucker homerun. Another run would follow in the sixth inning, but Baum would elude more trouble as he left the bases full after a strikeout, and groundout ended the threat.
Baum once again ran into trouble in the seventh inning, surrendering two more runs, along with his teams lead, leaving the game tied 5-5 coming to the bottom half of the innning. Chris Blackbee had taken over on the hill in the third, and left the Cardinal offense off the board through the sixth inning. But that would come to a quick end, as a lead off walk, along with a walk to the next hitter left runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs.
Jhonny Perigos followed the walks with a crisp, RBI single to left, giving the Cards the lead back at 6-5. The next hitter, game MVP Seth Suplin, who had connected earlier for a 3-run jack, would double up his efforts with another, NO DOUBT, game changing 3-run homerun! After scrapping together another run, the home team took the field in the 8th inning with a 10-5 lead.
Baum and his defense kept the Flyers at bay in the 8th, highlighted by a spectacular play at 2nd base by Raphael Hanzi ended the inning. In the 9th, the Cards were able to get two quick outs, leaving them one away from yet another title. But a Daniel Eichenberger single, followed by a walk made things interesting…before a weak ground ball to shortstop Samuel Paulino ended the game, and the 2011 Swiss baseball season! The Cardinals dynasty over the last decade continued with the clubs 7th overall title, and 6th in the last seven years.