(photo credit: )
Back in April, following the first preseason practice, Table to Table journeyman Chaim Forst mentioned that if his team played smart ball, the talent was there to make them "the team to beat."
Last Tuesday evening at Kibbutz Gezer, he was sporting a massive grin as his team proved him correct with a 26-8 blowout victory over American Football in Israel in the championship game of the Modified Pitch Softball League.
In the first inning, AFI took a 2-1 lead on a homerun by Aaron Lazor. But under the watchful eye of captain Saul Fiedler, Table to Table rallied back in the second to go ahead 5-2.
The third inning saw Amnon Eisner, Shimmy Bayer and Saul Fiedler spark things up with a bevvy of hits.
Jordan Rubinson then lined a double through the infield and the team batted around the order, increasing their lead to 12-2.
A potential rally by AFI in the bottom of the inning was thwarted when first baseman Michael Berman made a cat-like diving grab in foul territory.
Several errors by the AFI infield led to more runs in the fourth, but the inning was highlighted by catcher David Kaplan's towering three-run homer over the left field fence to put Table to Table ahead 16-2.
After an AFI grand slam in the bottom of the fourth narrowed the gap to 16-6, AFI threatened once more, but Chaim Forst prevented further damage with an acrobatic grab going backwards into shallow left field.
Table to Table answered back again in the fifth. Josh Blacher ripped a line drive double into left-centerfield, and then Table to Table quickly added four more runs.
On the mound, Marc Bodner stayed focused and gave AFI a very difficult time at the plate.
His complete-game performance essentially shutting down their potent offense.
In the bottom of the sixth, AFI was able to put together a string of bloop singles that led to two more runs, but Joe Gitler (covering second for Dan Harelick who sufferred a fractured fibula in last week's regular season finale loss to AFI) ended the inning and any hopes of an AFI comeback by starting a beautifully executed double play.
In the seventh, T to T added another six runs, highlighted by Jeff Weiner's RBI single and two massive triples by Rubinson and Fiedler. AFI went down 1-2-3 in the seventh, sparking the on-field celebrations.
Seeded last for the playoffs, the championship was claimed in their inaugural season as Table to Table.
Impressively, during its regular season and playoff run, T to T defeated each of the league's teams at least once.
The players congratulate all the teams in the league for a well fought season.