(photo credit: Jay L. Abramoff)
Café Rimon successfully defended its HAS Israel Softball League championship
crow, with a 13-4 victory over Lobos in the title game. Players and fans partied
late into the night, as the Holyland Series Trophy made its second annual
pilgrimage to the Café Rimon team’s namesake in downtown Jerusalem.
much anticipated showdown with Lobos started off neck-and-neck, with Lobos
striking first for a one-run lead.
The teams traded two-run homers in the
second – Shimon Cohen for Café Rimon’s and Aryeh Bliemen for Lobos – and it
looked like a slugfest was underway.
Café Rimon’s veteran pitcher, Yaacov
Ehrlich, then made a savvy adjustment, moving most of his pitches to the inside
With Ehrlich painting the black with pinpoint accuracy, Lobos’
‘murderers row’ lineup had to fight off two-strike counts, and their dangerous
bats were quieted until the penultimate frame.
Café Rimon, on the other
hand, made itself heard, in a big way. Captain Gershon Jacobovitch gave his team
the lead, with a monstrous three-run homer that had the raucous crowd on its
feet. The following inning, Jacobovitch came to the plate with two men on again.
Lobos huddled on the mound to discuss a possible intentional pass, but elected
instead to pitch to Jacobovitch – who promptly redeposited the ball right back
over the center field fence, this time sending the crowd into a state of
The offensive onslaught continued, as David Fain and Chaim
Schon set the table, reaching base four times, while Archie Eichorn knocked in a
pair with a majestic hit off the wall. Yanky Itzkowitz, Yaakov “Chosson”
Assayag, and Moshe Lexier added several hits, with Itzkowitz robbing numerous
dangerous Lobos’ shots in left field, and Lexier filling in ably for injured
star Yaniv Tsaidi.
With Café Rimon leading 13- 3, Lobos threatened one
last time, as captain Aryeh Rudman showed his smarts.
every one of the hundreds on hand, Rudman declined to launch an impressive but
meaningless rocket, opting instead to bunt his way aboard and ignite a rally.
Sure enough, Lobos followed their leader with a series of hits. However, it was
to be Café Rimon’s night, and thanks to a wild and wacky double play, the rally
was cut short, with the score 13-4.
Fans stormed the field on the final
out, and Café Rimon’s dynamic duo of Ehrlich and Jacobovitch were awarded,
respectively, the season and championship MVP. Ehrlich’s campaign included four
shutouts, a league record.
At press time, league statisticians were still
researching whether Jacobovitch’s championship game seven RBI constituted a
record as well.
Jacobovitch then took a page out of Dirk Nowitzki’s
playbook, sneaking out of the stadium amidst the near-delirium – but unlike
Novitzki, who wanted a quiet moment alone, Jacobovitch sped off with the coveted
Holyland Series Trophy, rendezvousing with his team at Café Rimon, where the
giant chalice doubled as a pitcher for everything from “championship milkshakes”
to a “champagne- like beverage” in a celebration lasting until the predawn