Haar Disciples back on the winning track

It's tempting to score last weekend's baseball results like this: Weather 4 - Munich Baseball 2.

The bad news for the Munich-area clubs playing in the top two divisions was that the 2nd-division teams Baldham Boars and Haar Disciples II had their total of four away games, respectively in Heidenheim and Karlsruhe, washed out by the rainy weather.

The good news was that at least the Haar Disciples' first team managed to squeeze in two games in the 1. Bundesliga South division at home on Saturday. They promptly won both of them against the newly-promoted Tübingen Hawks. So not only did Bayern Munich secure at least a title "double" on Saturday, but the Disciples also secured their doubleheader.

With the 9-1 and 5-3 victories, the Disciples tightened their grip on fourth place in the eight-team 1. Bundesliga South division, a standing that at the end of the regular season would give Haar a post-season playoff berth. The Hawks, in their first season at the top level of German baseball, saw their record fall to 1-7.

In game one, Haar starting pitcher Lukas Steinlein was in good form, pitching seven complete innings and giving up just one run on three hits. He also struck out eight Hawks in the win.

Meanwhile the Disciples batters had a field day against the Hawks pitching, producing 13 hits. Michael Stephan set the pace with three hits, including a home run. Tony Younis also had three hits. Joschua Petersen had two hits, including a triple, while driving in four runs. Losing pitcher (Hawks) was Dennis Jeworowski, who lasted just six innings.

The second game was a case of the more experienced Disciples team prevailing to come from behind to capture a hard-fought contest.

In a "pitchers' duel" between US hurlers Brian Fields (Haar) and 21-year-old Joshua Hodges (Hawks), it was the visitors who got the better start. They went up 1-0 in the third inning when Fields had some control problems with a walk and three wild pitches. Three innings later, Tübingen's Benjamin Burkhart hit a double to drive in two more runs to give the guests a 3-0 lead. As it turned out, that double became the Hawks' third and last hit in the ballgame, as Fields dominated after that point.

The turnaround came in the Disciples' half of the sixth inning, as they launched an offensive onslaught of five hits, good for four runs and a 4-3 lead. The Disciples added another run in the seventh inning for what became the final score of 5-3. Fields was the winning pitcher, notching up 13 strikeouts in his complete 9-inning effort. Hodges took the loss for the Hawks, giving up eight hits and all five runs in his eight innings of work.

The Disciples could solidify their hold on the league's fourth-place spot this coming Saturday when - weather permitting - they play two games away at the Stuttgart Reds. The Reds are currently fifth in the standings, with a 3-7 record.

All the other Munich-area ballclubs playing in the top three divisions will also see action next weekend. On Saturday, Baldham will host the Karlsruhe Cougars while on Sunday the Haar II team is at home against the league-leading Regensburg Legionaires II.

In the third-division Regionalliga Südost, the Gauting Indians play at Ingolstadt, while the league-leading and still-undefeated (10-0) Munich Caribes travel to Herrenberg. Both those fixtures are set for Sunday. Weather permitting of course...

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