German Baseball: Heidenheim Heidekopfe Open 2017 With Sweep Over Munich-Haar Disciples
GERMANY – American southpaw Clayton Freimuth tossed three stellar relief innings and the Heidenheim Heidekoepfe opened the 2017 German Baseball-Bundesliga season this past Friday night with a 4-0 shutout over the Munich-Haar Disciples.
Freimuth picked up the save and combined with starter Johannes Krumm (1-0) to fan nine batters while limiting the Disciples to just four hits. The native Texan, who pitched for the Bad Homburg Hornets last season, led Frostburg State University to the most successful season in school history in 2015.
Shawn Larry belted a late two-run homer to seal the season-opening win and both Mitch Nilsson and Simon Guhring added RBI singles.
The Heidekoepfe used a two-run rally in the ninth on Saturday to claim a 3-2 victory and a sweep of the two-game set. Larry delivered the big blow with a two-bagger that plated Guhring and Nilsson.
American Ryan Bollinger scattered a run, walk and five hits over six strong frames in a no-decision effort. Freimuth (1-0) collected the final three outs to earn the win.
Mannheim Tornados vs Buchbinder Legionaere Regensburg
In other South Division action, the Mannheim Tornados steamrolled the Buchbinder Legionaere Regensburg 15-5 on Saturday as Juan Martin drove in four runs with a pair of triples.
The Tornados finished off the series sweep the following day with a lopsided 11-1 victory behind a strong outing from American hurler Cory Jordan (1-0). The Houston (TX) product and former Grambling State standout allowed a lone score on three hits and two walks to notch his first win on German soil.
Thomas De Wolf smacked a three-run bomb in the fifth before Fernando Escarra ended the game with a two-run shot three frames later.
Saarlouis Hornets vs Bad Homburg Hornets
The promoted Saarlouis Hornets split a pair of road games against Bad Homburg Hornets. David Reichertz had three hits and four RBIs to lead Saarlouis to a 10-3 win in the opening game of a South Division doubleheader.
Bad Homburg won a 17-16 slugfest in the second game behind a walk-off, 2-run single off the bat of Fabian Fermin-Hernandez.
Stuttgart Reds vs Mainz Athletics
American right-hander Jimmy Jensen (1-0) went the distance to help the Stuttgart Reds earn a split against the Mainz Athletics with a 4-1 victory in the second game of a twinbill.
The Reigning German champion won the first game, 11-1, as Max Boldt and Peter Johannessen both homered. Tim Stahlmann (1-0) picked up the complete game win.
Solingen Alligators vs Dohren Wild Farmers
In the North Division, the Solingen Alligators opened the season with an 8-1 win over the promoted Dohren Wild Farmers. Lefty Andre Hughes (1-0) notched the win and Nils Hartkopf slugged a two-run homer.
The Wild Farmers stunned the home team in the second game with a 6-5 victory in 11 innings. Lithuanian national teamer Edvardas Matusevicius’ go-ahead RBI triple proved to be the game-winner.
Dortmund Wanderers vs Cologne Cardinals
In another North Division encounter, Dennis Stechmann (1-0) tossed eight strong frames and added two RBIs at the plate to lead the Dortmund Wanderers to a 7-1 win over the Cologne Cardinals in the season opener. However, the Cardinals took the second game, 13-10, as Timo Stock, Samuel Gorsch and Niklas Piontek combined for seven RBIs.
Photo: Kalle Linkert/Heidenheim Heidekoepfe