I went to cheer on the Cardinals take on the Wanderers from Dortmund on Saturday.
The conditions were terrible as right in time for the first pitch heavy rain set in which caused the first of quite a few rain delays of the afternoon. Dortmund took advantage early, scoring a few runs over the first few innings off of Cardinals starter Jonas Gorsch. But just as the sky was clearing up and the sun found its way through the clouds the Cardinals offense came to life, rallying from 2-8 to tie the game at 8 in the 5th inning. they were even able to pull ahead 10-8. But then the clouds came back and it started raining again. Dortmund seemed to love this and feasted on some errors and timly hitting to jump to a 10-13 lead which they would not give away for good. So after splitting the series in Dortmund, the Wanderers had the Crads with their backs to the wall.
But Cologne responded by thrashing the Wanderers in the 2nd game of Saturday’s double header 10-0, forcing a deciding game 5 on Sunday. It has to be said (and I was only there for the first game on Saturday, that it was a rather sloppy affair, but that has to be credited to the poor conditions. The game itself was a thriller and you could sense that both teams were fighting for survival. Unfortunately – and this has to be blamed on the weather as well – there were only a handful of people in attendance to watch the game. It was fun nonetheless, and the food, as always, was yummy! And, surprisingly, there was no admission fee to be paid. So free baseball on a rainy Saturday afternoon. What more can you ask for. Well, maybe better weather…
Unfortunately they lost the final game on Sunday 5-12, so the Cards will now have to play Berlin to decide who will be relegated to the 2nd division.
The other playdown series played out like this:
Cologne Cardinals – Dortmund Wanderers 2-3 (Dortmund wins series, stays in 1st division)
Dohren Wild Farmers – Berlin Sluggers 3-0 (Dohren wins series, stays in 1st division)
Stuttgart Reds – Tübingen Hawks 3-0 (Stuttgart wins series, stays in 1st division)
Bad Homburg Hornets – Mannheim Tornados 2-3 (Mannheim wins series, stays in 1st division)
This means that Dortmund, Dohren, Stuttgart and Mannheim will play in the 1st division of the Bundesliga for the next season. Out of Cologne, Berlin, Tübingen and Bad Homburg two teams will be relegated to the 2nd division. Now, I have to admit I have no idea what happens to the teams who win the next series. My guess is (and I still haven’t found any evidence for this) that the losing teams will have to play the losing teams of the 2nd division promotion playoffs. But, that’s just a guess. Maybe somebody can shed some insight on this.
Elsewhere in the title chase some series were decided earlier. As expected Regensburg beat Hamburg (8-2) to advance to the semifinals, just as Heidenheim downed Paderborn (16-8) handily. Solingen (15-4 and 10-1 vs Haar) cinched the win in the fourth game of the series, while Bonn and Mainz were going into a decisive game 5 on Sunday.
Regensburg Buchbinder Legionäre – Hamburg Stealers 3:0 (Regensburg wins series)
Solingen Alligators – Haar Disciples 3:1 (Solingen wins series)
Heidenheim Heideköpfe – Paderborn Untouchables 3:0 (Heidenheim wins series)
Bonn Capitals – Mainz Athletics 3:2 (Bonn wins series)
With those results we move to the next round which will be played on the coming weekend.