Baseball classic 298.88.
(photo credit: AP)
The first annual IBL All-Star Game between the North (the stars of the Ra'anana, Netanya and Tel Aviv) and the South (Modiâ€šin, Beit Shemesh, and Petah Tikva) was won by the South 6-5 on the strength of its Beit Shemesh players.
Blue Sox right fielder Jason Rees supplied a three-run home run in the second inning that proved the difference and the only home run of the game.
IBL commissioner Dan Kurtzer remarked that he expected "a lot of fun. These are great players; they've worked hard all year, and they're real proud to have made the all-star team."
Unlike regular season IBLcontests of seven innings, the all-star game was played to the full nine innings.
The North struck first, lighting up South starting pitcher Jason Benson for five runs in the first inning, off four doubles, two wild pitches and a ghastly throwing error by Petah Tikva second baseman Willis Bumphus. Tel Aviv infielders Stuart Prito and Nate Fish, each got an RBI double in the first
In the second inning, the South got two men on for Jason Rees, who launched a deep drive over the wall for a home run.
The South got two RBI doubles in the fourth and fifth innings, but then the pitching and defenses tightened up, and until the eighth, only two men reached first base on either side.
In the top of the eighth, the South loaded the bases for Beit Shemesh first baseman Johnny Lopez, who drove in the game winning run.
Only one more batter reached first base before the game ended.
The lack of power was apparent before the game was the home run derby,with
a representative from each team showcasing their ability, rather inability, to hit long balls. Stuart Prito won the derby with a grand total of four home runs, one more than runner-up Ryan Crotin of Petah Tikva. "I waited for a good pitch and tried to make good contact," said Prito, through a translator, of his winning round-tripper.