After a tough 17-1 loss against the Traiskirchen Grasshoppers in the Austrian baseball season opener on Friday night, the Diving Ducks Wiener Neustadt were up for revenge. With Dutchie Rick van Dijck on the mound it looked like they would win this one but eventually the bullpen collapsed and could not cling onto a four-run lead.
After two scoreless innings, the Diving Ducks took the lead in the top of the third. Two walks, a double and a single drove in two runs for the Diving Ducks. With some help of his defense, Rick van Dijck limited the Grasshoppers to three hits in the first three innings. But in the fourth inning, the Grasshoppers turned the tables.
First Rick van Dijck gave up a two-run homer to Phillip Brenner and then a throwing error and a couple of singles drove in two more runs for the Grasshoppers. The Diving Ducks though, showed some mental flexibility as they tied the game at four in the sixth inning, followed by a seventh inning in which three doubles and a fielder’s choice drove in four runs.
Both teams scored one more time before the ninth inning. By then Rick was pulled already. He lasted six innings in which he gave up three earned runs, on ten hits, struck out six and walked two.
The Diving Ducks took the field in the bottom of the ninth with a 9-5 lead. But the bullpen wasn’t able to finish the job. It all started with a throwing error by the shortstop, followed by a walk and a triple. A 6-3 groundout drove in another run before back-to-back-to-back walks and a single handed the hard fought victory to last year’s runner up.