The Israel men’s senior national team won European Championship C-Pool in Ljubljana, Slovenia, cruising through the championship game with pitcher Alon Leichman shutting out the Slovenian team for a 14-0 victory.
The triumph in Ljubljana elevated Israel to the CEB (Confederation of European Baseball) B Pool for next year’s competition.
Israel’s victory was absolute, with five straight, convincing victories against Finland (13-1), Slovenia (9-0), Latvia (9-3), Romania (8-3 in the semifinals) and Slovenia in the finals. The run differential in all five victories was an impressive 53-7.
The team’s ERA was 1.05 and batting average was .309.
Shlomo Lipetz, Dean Kremer, Alon Leichman and Yotam Ben Amram all had ERAs of 0. Kremer was voted as the tournament’s best pitcher and Simon Rosenbaum was voted MVP, with a .529 batting average and four home runs.
The team played under the cloud of the events taking place in Israel and the team members had the initials “SM” on their caps, in memory of Shon Mondshine, an ex-Israel baseball player who was killed while serving in Gaza.
“The team played phenomenally,” said Peter Kurz, Team Israel Manager and President of the IAB.
“This is a historic moment for Israel baseball, as we now advance further into the European baseball leagues than ever before with five unequivocal victories. The team’s dominant performance at the tournament proves that Israel baseball is firmly on the international map.