Games We Play: Café Rimon repeats as Holyland Series champ

Café Rimon successfully defended its HAS Israel Softball League championship crow, with a 13-4 victory over Lobos in the title game.

June 16, 2011 23:53
2 minute read.
NAFTALI BALANSON of the Morningside Translators Wa

Softball 58. (photo credit: Jay L. Abramoff)


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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.

The much anticipated showdown with Lobos started off neck-and-neck, with Lobos striking first for a one-run lead.

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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 corner.

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 pandemonium.

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.

Fooling possibly 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 hours.

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