Aztek edges Beit Shemesh

Aztek and Optica International recorded wins in amateur softball in Israel series games last week at Kibbutz Gezer. All seven teams have now played at least six of their 12 regular-season games, and Rise Hi is in first place, a game-and-a-half ahead of Aztek. Aztek 16,Beit Shemesh Suns 14 Aztek scored three runs in the first, highlighted by Alan Tover's two-run homer. It was Tover's fourth consecutive game with an over-the-fence HR. The Suns got their first hit of the game in the third inning, the 12th batter Aztek pitcher Fred Moncharsh faced. BS picked up four unearned runs in the at-bat. In the bottom half of the inning, Aztek came back with a two-out rally. Beginning with no runners on base, AZ scored four runs, highlighted by Naftali Schwartz's two-RBI triple, to take a 7-3 lead. Moncharsh held the Suns scoreless over the next two innings, in which he faced only seven batters. Schwartz gave Aztek another run with his first homer of the season. After Beit Shemesh took advantage of three Aztek errors to tie the score in the top of the sixth, Aztek came right back in the bottom half of the inning. Seven of the first eight batters hit safely, concluding with Mike Barth's two-RBI double and Schwartz's second RBI triple of the game. In the top of the seventh, the Suns scored six. Ahead by two runs with the tying run at the plate, Aztek finally stopped Beit Shemesh and picked up the win. Ariel Gilor, Barth and Schwartz each had three hits. Optica International 13, Aztek 7 Optica International defeated Applied Materials Rehovot to avenge a lopsided defeat earlier in the season. Steve Leibowitz, who returned to pitch for OI after a two-year absence, made a huge difference, while Optica's defense was solid. For the second game in a row, OI had a big first inning, this time scoring six runs. Optica's Aaron Katsman and Aron Heller each had two hits, two RBIs, and scored three runs, with Katsman hitting his first homer of the season. Matt Churchill had three hits and four RBIs, and Josh Harvey had a perfect day at the plate with three hits and a walk. Ron Duhl continued his hot hitting, chipping in another two hits.