eyal mozes 298.88.
(photo credit: Courtesy )
Rehovot enjoyed its home-field advantage to win the Eighth Annual Rehovot Hanukkah Tournament for youth softball.
Six teams, included newcomers Arad and Dimona, played a grueling six or seven games over just two days.
Rehovot defeated the Merkaz 9-7 in the final, Eilat roughed up Dimona 11-6 for third place and BBS came back for a 25-24 victory over Arad in the fifth-place game.
Rehovot finished the round-robin stage in first place, followed by Merkaz, Eilat, Dimona, BBS and Arad.
Rehovot and Merkaz won the semifinal games and faced off for the second year in a row in the final and Rehovot avenged last year's loss.
The Merkaz jumped out to a 5-0 lead after three innings on RBI singles from Moshe Hyde and Oren Litz and effective pitching from Etai Mayerfeld.
However, the tired Merkaz defense, with no subs available, collapsed in the fourth, allowing eight runs, capped by Dudu Zozin's two-run homer.
The Mercaz put the tying run on base in the seventh but pitcher Simon Futerman bore down for the final out.
In the third-place game, Eilat rode the strong pitching of Boris Yegudayev, who struck out 12, while giving up five hits and walks to the young Dimona team.
Eilat jumped in front in the bottom of the first with catcher Roy Even's two-RBI triple and added another in the second and four in the third on Yegudayev's two-run homer and Doron Moshe's two-run single to take a commanding 8-1 lead.
Tabay Ben-Israel provided the bright spot for Dimona with a homer in the three-run fifth inning, closing the gap to 9-5, but Yegudayev struck out the side in the sixth and final inning, sending Eilat home with third place for the third straight year.
Eyal Mozes of Rehovot was named tournament MVP and each team named a top pitcher, hitter and defender: Rehovot (Simon Futerman, Dudu Zozin, Eyal Mozes); Mercaz (Etai Mayerfeld, Eran Epstein, Yeoandray Gil-Levy); Eilat (Boris Yegudayev, Diego Janovski, Roy Even); Dimona (Tahor Ben Israel, Tabay Ben Israel, Hamadiya Ben-Israel); BBS (Yotam David, Hamudi Oufa, Omer Kalinsky); Arad (Omer Surkis, Tal Pheifer, Yaela Tamari).