Games We Play: Baseball

Juveniles beaten easily after early win.

baseball 88 (photo credit: )
baseball 88
(photo credit: )
Despite the Juvenile national team's promising first game win in the European Championships on Sunday, the team lost by a landslide to host the Czech Republic just a day later. Israel's 3-0 victory over Slovakia was the first time the Juvenile team had ever won its first game at the European Championships in more than ten years of competition. However, the team's 16-0 loss to the Czech Republic on Monday may have jeopardized its championship aspirations. The loss moved Israel out of a tie for second place and into the fourth place spot. "We didn't hit and we gave up a lot of runs," said President of the Israeli Association of Baseball Chaim Katz. "The Czechs have a very strong program with over 10,000 kids playing baseball. They are one of the strongest teams in Europe. The loss was kind of expected." Despite the defeat, Israel can be encouraged by the excellent pitching it displayed in the game against Slovakia. Yoni Alter, the starting pitcher, threw three scoreless innings and recorded seven strike outs and just one walk. David Tover took over in the fourth inning and threw three scoreless innings, striking out three. On the Slovakian side, Patrik Fuhrich threw seven strike outs as well, but allowed three runs and five walks. The weak spot for Israel in both of their games was, as expected, their hitting. In the game against the Czech Republic, the Israeli bats were no match for Czech pitching, which threw a shut out. In the game against Slovakia Israel also struggled at the plate, combining for only two hits. However, the team managed to muster three runs thanks to Slovakian walks and errors. Two walks were issued to third baseman Dov Gerson, who scored twice and stole a base. Alter drove in one run, and Tover had two hits as well as scoring one run. Despite its poor hitting, Israel was solid in the field against Slovakia, committing no errors. Katz was happy with Israel's first round victory. "They [Slovakia] are a good team. Slovakia did well against Russia-they were up 4-2 and then they fell apart," he said. On Tuesday Israel is set to play Austria, and on Wednesday it faces a double header against the traditionally strong Polish team and the weaker Belarus. Please submit items for 'Games We Play' via e-mail to