A new era of baseball in Germany has begun as the Laub Raiders played their
first official games in the German BBSV – twice losing at the Schwaig Red
Lions on April 10.
The Raiders in both games were unable to avoid the big innings in losing
12-6 and 12-5. Schwaig put together a 6-run frame in each of the contests in
the Landesliga 2×5 as Laub dropped to 0-2 to start their first season.
Despite the two defeats, there were plenty of highlights for the Raiders –
with almost every player coming up with a couple of good plays. Of course,
with a team lacking in experience, there were plenty of mistakes from which
the Laub players can learn.
“Everybody is developing. You can see that with every game. This is how I
imagined it and was hoping for with the guys,” said Raiders player-manager
“You could tell from some of the players that they are not yet accustomed to
the long double-header days. But you have to remember that many of them
never really played regularly in the old Bezirksliga level.”
Käsewieter was pleased with the start of the season and added: “We cannot
lose this season because even if we do lose, we are learning.”
It only took two batters for the Raiders to score the first run of their
existence as Käsewieter delivered a single to knock in Matt Oldham, who
opened the Raiders’ season with a single. The Raiders added a second run in
the top of the first inning as Bobby Flynn reached third on a double by
Magnus Brose and then scored on a wild pitch.
The Laub players were excited about the start of their first game, but
Raiders’ starter Tom Csabala struggled to find the plate and walked four Red
Lions and the home team knotted the game at 2-2 despite not picking up a
single hit in the inning.
The Raiders’ bats were not as loud the second inning with only Csabala
getting a walk in the top half of the scoreless frame.
The Red Lions drew three more walks from Csabala in the second inning and
added four hits in tallying six runs to open an 8-2 lead.
Laub looked to get back into the game and had two runners on in the top of
the third but David Hein grounded into an inning-ending double play to end
Dave Feddersen came on to pitch the third and held Schwaig to just one run,
stranding three Red Lions with the final out.
Laub put some pressure on Schwaig by scoring three runs in the top of the
fourth on a ground out by Feddersen and RBI singles from Oldham and
Käsewieter to cut the deficit to 9-5.
But Schwaig came up with three more runs in the bottom of the fourth thanks
to four hits and one Laub error to pull ahead 12-5.
The Raiders did manufacture a final run without a hit in the top of the
fifth – and final – inning as Eddy Silwa was hit by a pitch, stole two bases
and came home on as Tom Groth reached on an error.
But that was all the Raiders could manage and they ended up losing, with
Csabala taking the loss.
Käsewieter led the offense as he went 3-for-3 with 2 RBI while Oldham was
2-for-4 with 2 runs and 2 steals. Sliwa was 1-for-2 with 2 runs and 4 stolen
bases. Csabala walked three times, scoring once and picking up three steals.
Hein struggled at the plate going 0-for-3 but he did save more damage in the
bottom of the fourth with an inning-ending catch in right field.
– – –
Raiders struggle early in game two
– – –
After a break, the teams went at it again for the second game. The Raiders’
bats were stymied in the early going of game two as the first seven batters
all struck out.
Feddersen started well on the mound, not giving up a hit or walk in the
first inning and allowing just one run on two hits in the second as Schwaig
led 1-0 after two frames.
Laub finally got to the Red Lions’ young pitcher in the third inning to the
tune of three runs. Flynn’s double was the Raiders’ first baserunner and
scored on a Schwaig error. Laub added runs on a Sliwa ground-out and
Käsewieter single for a 3-1 lead.
And just like the first game, the Raiders couldn’t stay out of the big
inning as Schwaig answered with six runs to grab a 7-3 lead. Feddersen gave
up four hits and three walks and the defense gave up a costly three-base
After finally getting out of the inning on defense, the Raiders offense went
down one-two-three on three pitches with three groundouts in the top of the
Schwaig put the game away for good with five runs off Flynn, who came in to
pitch the fourth. Flynn did give up five hits but he didn’t walk a batter
and his defense didn’t help that much with three errors in the inning as the
advantage grew to 12-3.
The Raiders did not give up and scored two runs on three hits in the top of
the fifth with Oldham singling in Csabala and scoring on a wild pitch.
Laub managed just five hits in the game – two from Käsewieter while Oldham
had an RBI, 2 runs and 3 stolen bases.
“What I really liked most in the second game was that the team really fought
hard at the end and picked up a couple of runs when many other teams would
have physically and mentally given up after a long doubleheader day,” said
“That made it look a little better.”