Games we play: Softball

CI edges Rehovot; Optical International 9, Aztek 8

israel softball 88 (photo credit: )
israel softball 88
(photo credit: )
CI took a big early lead, but then had to come from behind in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat Applied Materials Rehovot 11-10 in an amateur softball in Israel series game at Kibbutz Gezer last week. Behind solid defense and impressive pitching by Marc Bodner, CI had an 8-1 advantage after two innings. In the top of the third Rehovot began chipping away at the deficit, with smart base running and plays by left fielder Yair Amir. After finding itself down by only one run in the top of the seventh, Rehovot put runners on the bases with two singles. A popup and a strikeout later and things were looking better for CI. After the following batter hit a sharp line drive between shortstop and second base and an errant throw, the score was tied. Rehovot scored another run before CI got out of the inning on a ground out back to the pitcher. Saul Fielder's bunt turned in to a double on another error. Then with one out, David Kaplan hit a game-tying double down the left-field line. Mitch Mandel, who came to the plate with one out and runners on second and third, hit the game-winning single. Optical International 9, Aztek 8 Binyamin Kaffel's single to center in the bottom of the seventh gave Optica International the victory over archrival Aztek in yet another exciting matchup between these two teams. Aztek jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but OI responded with three in the bottom half of the inning on two-out RBI hits by Kaffel and Matt Churchill. Aztek took a 4-3 lead with another two runs in the top of the second, but Optica's winning pitcher, Joel Katzin, silenced their bats until the sixth. By then, Optica had built up an 8-4 lead on a sacrifice fly and two-run homer by Kenny Zwiebel and a long double off the fence by Zach Harvey that scored his brother, Josh Harvey. In familiar fashion, Aztek battled back with three runs in the sixth and one in the seventh to tie score. In the bottom of the seventh, Katzin singled, advanced to third on a Zwiebel double, and scored the winning run. Zwiebel also had the fielding gem of the game, running full speed from second to center to make an overhead catch with his back to the plate. For Aztek, Ariel Gilor had three hits and scored twice. Rise-Hi 14, Nefesh B'Nefesh 3 Chaim Jacobson was a perfect 4-for-4, including a three-run homer, and had five RBIs to lead defending series champion Rise-Hi over Nefesh B'Nefesh. Moshe Hamburg had three hits and two RBIs and Ed Harow picked up the win, going five innings on the mound before brother Earl relieved. Ethan Harow drove in three runs on two hits, and Dave "Bubba" Kiel, who came in as the backup catcher, threw out a runner attempting to steal. Nefesh B'Nefesh's shortstop Mike Hochman had three hits, first baseman Yossi Hadad had two hits, and third baseman Dov Friedman had two RBIs.