GM3 Mannheim Tornados - Heidenheim Heidekoepfe 5-2 Box score
The Tornados are just one win away from their twelfth German title after beating the Heidekoepfe 5-2 on Saturday in game three of the best-of-five series. Games four (1pm CET) and possible five will be played on Sunday, again in Mannheim.
Martin Dewald (W 7-0) impressed again, going nine innings and allowing just two unearned runs on six hits and an intentional walk, while striking out seven. He now accounts for seven of the eight Mannheim wins during the 2009 playoffs.
The Tornados got on the board early, scoring three runs in the second on a RBI double by Dominik Hoepfner, a sac fly by Sascha Lutz and an error. Lutz and Chris Falls scored in the fifth to extend the advantage to five runs, the latter on a RBI triple by Marvin Appiah.
Heidenheim, which played with the recovering Simon Guehring (fractured heel) as designated hitter, tried to come back in the eighth, but managed only two runs on an error and a RBI double by Ryan Lilly. However Robert Gruber flied out to right to end the threat with the bases loaded.
Markus Winkler (L 3-2) surrendered eight hits, five runs (4 ER) and a walk in eight innings. He struck out two. Teammate Dusty Bergman will get the nod in game four, hoping to stretch the series to a fifth game.
GM4 Mannheim Tornados - Heidenheim Heidekoepfe 3-15 (8) Box score
In game four on Sunday, Simon Guehring showed no signs of an injury and led the Heidekoepfe to a 15-3 victory. The national team catcher, who fractured his heel during the World Baseball Challenge in July and made his comeback as designated hitter on Saturday, hit two homeruns, including a grand slam, in the first three innings for a total of seven RBI.
With the win Heidenheim evened the series 2-2. Andy Janzen and Sam Whitehead added three RBI each. Dusty Bergman (W 4-1) went eight innings for his fourth win of the 2009 playoffs. He allowed three runs on four hits and a whopping seven walks, striking out six. Tornados head coach Georg Bull decided to rest Rene Franke for a game five and used Jan Ruessel as starting pitcher, but he was chased from the mound after giving up eight runs in 2 2/3 innings.
GM5 Mannheim Tornados - Heidenheim Heidekoepfe 1-3 Box score
Game five followed after the completion of the fourth match and Heidenheim had the better start, taking a 2-0 lead in the third on a solo homerun by Ray Stokes and a bases loaded walk by Johannes Schaeffler. A RBI fielder’s choice by Mannheim’s Dominik Hoepfner in the fourth cut the deficit to a run. Guehring sealed the 3-1 win by the Heidekoepfe with a solo homerun in the ninth.
Peter Dankerl (W 2-1) received the win after issuing just one run on seven hits and five walks in nine innings. He also had won game five in the semi-final series against the Solingen Alligators. Franke (L 1-4) surrendered six hits, three runs and nine bb in eight-plus innings to take his fourth loss in the postseason.
With the victory the Heidekoepfe overcame a 1-2 deficit in the best-of-five series in the German finals and are celebrating their first championship ever in the Baseball-Bundesliga. They are the fifth different champion in the Baseball-Bundesliga in the past five years, three of the other four also were debut winners.