Team Israel’s Shlomo Lipman pitching near Petah Tikva during the Under21 European Championship this week..
(photo credit: ELLI WOHLGELERNTER)
Team Israel lost the bronze-medal game of the Under21 European championship on Thursday, 11-3 to Lithuania. Once again, Israel was in the game heading into the seventh, this time winning 3-2 – and the two runs were unearned – before throwing errors in the top of the seventh opened the floodgates.
Israel had beaten Lithuania on Tuesday, its only victory in the tournament. Lithuania took a 3-1 lead, but Israel’s Hadar Sugarman then got the offense going by knocking in three runs with a bases-loaded double in the third inning. Israel extended its lead to 15-3 led by Shlomo Lipman’s incredible day at the plate. He scored six runs in six at-bats, with a hit, four walks and reached on an error. Tal Erel shut down the Lithuanian offense through seven innings after which the bullpen stumbled, but Israel held on to win 15-7.
Team Israel held its own in this Under21 tournament held at Baptist Village, which was attended by hundreds of fans from throughout Israel. Opening night on Monday featured Israel against Russia, with Lipman pitching six innings of onehit shutout ball. But Israel was also being shut out by Russia, which broke through for seven runs against Israel’s bullpen over the final three innings to win 7-0. In Wednesday’s game, Ukraine beat Israel 9-1.
“Our guys represented well. Unfortunately we just came up a little short. Hopefully this group of guys can contribute to the senior national team for years to come,” said outgoing Israel Baseball Association President Nate Fish.