(photo credit: AP)
It was an early day at the ballparks on Friday, but that did not seem to bother the Tel Aviv Lightning, who earned a 5-3 victory over the Modi'in Miracle. The win gave manager Steve Hertz's second-place Lightning a 6-2 record.
Australian Adam Crabb picked up his third win of the season with a stellar pitching performance. The right-hander, who is unafraid to show his emotion with fist pumping and enthusiastic leaps after a successful inning, tossed a complete game allowing just two earned runs on five hits. He received early support from the offense, including a three-run homer from right fielder Jeff Hastings.
Down 5-1 in the bottom of the sixth, the Miracle fought back with a home run of their own, a two-run blast from catcher Eladio Rodriguez.
The other game of the day took place at Yarkon Field where the Netanya Tigers snapped their three-game losing steak to beat the Ra'anana Express 7-3.
A solid performance from lefty Matt Comiter was good enough to give him his first IBL victory. Comiter threw 51â„3 innings in which he allowed two earned runs on just two hits, striking out six and walking six.
The Tigers scored six of their seven runs in the third inning, but a lot of the credit has to go to a sloppy Express defense that set the table for the Netanya offense.
Tigers third baseman Ryan Forsythe put Netanya on the board first with a two-run single in the bottom of the third. Forsythe, from Tempe, Arizona, went 2-3 with two RBI and one run scored.
Sunday will mark the opening of Tel Aviv's home field at Sportek, with the Petah Tikva Pioneers visiting the Netanya Tigers.
IBL players cheer up young cancer sufferers
Players from the Ra'anana Express took time out from their busy game schedule to meet with child cancer sufferers at Park Ra'anana last week.
The hundreds of children were delighted to be introduced to the players and even get some pitching tips at the event, hosted by the charity Chaiyanu.
"They hit a home run with every child" said Yaakov Pinsky, director of Chaiyanu, "they played ball not only with the sick kids but embraced the siblings and parents as well."
Express pitcher Josh Zumbrun took a group of 30 kids and showed them how to pitch, while other children were catching.
When Yanai from Beersheba received an autographed baseball from pitcher, Travis Zier he couldn't stop smiling.
"I love the game but I never dreamed I would meet a real baseball player and get a real baseball," Yanai said.