In baseball lore the well-known nickname for a baseball park is the "Field of Dreams", but in Haar, they might start coining another term: "Fields of Dreams."
If anyone was asking before the season why the Disciples signed on US pitcher Brian Fields, they got a near-perfect answer on Saturday. In Haar's 1. Bundesliga-South game against the visiting Mannheim Tornados, the former Paderborn Untouchables hurler threw a no-hit game en route to a 2-0 win. Except for one walk he gave up, Fields would have had a perfect game.
Of the 27 outs in the 9-inning outing, Fields struck out 18 Tornados batters. Typically, when one pitcher is blindingly brilliant, it often overshadows a merely brilliant effort by the opposing pitcher. In this case, the victim was Mannheim pitcher Matt Kemp. Kemp was also outstanding - in his 8 innings, he struck out 9 batters while not giving up a single walk. He scattered 8 hits, only giving up 1 run each in the fourth and fifth innings (runs batted in Josh Petersen and Bruno Aurnhammer). On any other day that would likely have been good for a victory, but Kemp took the loss against Fields, who improved his season won-lost record to 4-1.
The win capped a good day for Haar after the team had won the opener 8-2 on a strong pitching performance by Disciples hurler Lukas Steinlein (7 innings pitched, 6 hits, 2 earned runs) and solid hitting up and down the lineup. Haar's batters combined for 10 hits, produced by, among others, Kevin Trisl, Tony Younis, Lorenzo Dadynoel and newly-acquired (from Regensburg) Cedric Bassel.
Haar boosted its season record to 7-3, to get an even firmer hold on 4th place in the league and stay on on course to qualify for post-season playoffs. Mannheim fell to 2-8. For the Haar baseball club, the weekend brought a further good-news development: The junior varsity team playing in the 2. Bundesliga-South division on Sunday won their first game of the season after eight straight defeats. Haar's 7-2 win came at the cost of local rivals Baldham Boars, newly promoted to the league this year.
The Boars' record now stands at 2 wins, 3 losses. But the second game of the doubleheader fell victim to a thunderstorm which hit the area, meaning yet another rescheduling headache for Baldham, which had seen four previous fixtures cancelled by the rainy weather in April and May.
Meanwhile in German baseball's third division, the Regionalliga, the main news was that the Munich Caribes suffered their first defeat of the season, playing on Saturday away against the Gauting Indians. Returning to action again after a four-week layoff due to scheduling and weather-related cancellations, the Caribes continued their winning ways in the first game, annihilating the Indians 13-0. Sharing the pitching duties, player-coach Steve Walker and Nick Angstmann limited Gauting to a single hit in the contest. On the offensive side, the big highlight was a home run by Jimi Roura.
Gauting regrouped though, and won the second game 5-3. The Indians' batters put in some better swings against Walker and Angstmann, creating scoring opportunities and forcing the Caribes' defence into making some unaccustomed errors. At the same time, a crafty pitching performance by veteran Gauting hurler Bernhard Huber and some sterling defensive plays by the Indians in the field thwarted the Caribes' offence.
The split, however, did nothing to change the situation in the Regionalliga-Southeast. With a won-lost record of 11-1 the Caribes stay atop of the table, ahead of the two teams tied for second place, Gauting (7-5) and the Füssen Royal Bavarians (6-4).