IBL: Blue Sox trounces Miracle to stay on top

Beit Shemesh side wins 8-1; Ra'anana Express beats Netanya Tigers 7-2; Tel Aviv Lightning defeats Petah Tikva Pioneers 13-1.

Modiin Miracle 298.88 (photo credit: Nathaniel Edelstein)
Modiin Miracle 298.88
(photo credit: Nathaniel Edelstein)
The Beit Shemesh Blue Sox had no problem dropping the Modi'in Miracle four games out of first place on Friday, beating Modi'in 8-1 behind the arm of Dominican right-hander Juan Feliciano. Feliciano improved to 6-1 with a complete-game three-hitter, giving up one run while striking out 12 and walking three. Centerfielder Sean Slaughter led the Blue Sox offense with a 2-for-3 day and a second-inning home run, three RBI, and three runs scored. Australian rightfielder Jason Rees chipped in going 2-for-2 with a solo homer, two RBI, and two runs scored to raise his average to .371. The Ra'anana Express handed the Netanya Tigers their 17th loss, winning 7-2. The game was tied through five innings as each team scored a run in the third and a run in the fifth before Ra'anana pulled away in the sixth. A three-run home run by shortstop Brendan Rubenstein, who went 2-for-4, capped off a five-run sixth inning that put the Express on top for good. First baseman Scott Feller went 3-for-4 with two doubles to give right-handed Columbian Max Vasquez all the support he needed in his third victory. Vasquez threw a complete-game, giving up two runs on six hits with two strikeouts and five walks as the Tigers fall ten games out of first place. The Tel Aviv Lightning defeated the Petah Tikva Pioneers 13-1 to stay 1.5 games behind the first-place Blue Sox. Tel Aviv native Dan Rothem picked up his third win, throwing five innings and giving up no runs on three hits with one strikeout and one walk. Dominican shortstop Raul Franco led the Lightning offense, going 3-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored. Third baseman Nate Fish of Brooklyn, New York contributed a double, two RBI, and three runs scored while first baseman Steward Brito added three hits of his own. The loss is the sixth consecutive for Ken Holtzman's club, which is now 16.5 games out of first place.