IBL: Tel Aviv closes in on Beit Shemesh

Lighting edges out first-place Sox 4-2; other results: Tigers 8, Express 4; Miracle 11, Pioneers 6.

TA lightning 298.88 (photo credit: )
TA lightning 298.88
(photo credit: )
The Tel Aviv Lighting pulled within a half-game of the Beit Shemesh Blue Sox by edging out the first-place Sox 4-2 Monday in Tel Aviv. The game was tied 2-2 through 4 1⁄2 innings thanks in part to Tel Aviv rightfielder Jeff Hastings, who collected two hits including a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first. Dominican shortstop Raul Franco put the Lighting on top in the fifth inning with a two-run home run to go 3-for-3 on the day. Tel Aviv left-handed hurler Aaron Pribble of San Francisco, California just barely out-pitched Beit Shemesh's Jason Benson, throwing a complete-game and allowing two earned runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and one walk. With the victory, Pribble becomes the IBL's first five-game winner and Steve Hertz's team wins its fourth consecutive game. Tigers 8, Express 4 Dan Rootenberg homered and drove in four, and Julio Guerrero pitched the Netanya Tigers past the Ra'anana Express 8-4 on a Tuesday matinee at Gezer Field. Juan Ramirez hit a solo home run in the third to give Ra'anana a 3-1 lead, but the Tigers then scored three runs in the third to take a 4-3 lead. Bryan Pinchuk homered, and Rootenberg added a two run single. Netanya then broke the game open with four runs in the fourth to put the game away. A Josh Doane RBI base hit was immediately followed by Rootenberg's three run dinger that put the Tigers ahead to stay. Ra'anana got a run in the sixth on a Ben Field single, but it wasn't enough. Guerrero (1-0) allowed three runs on six hits over five innings to pick up the win, while Express starter Josh Zumbrun (1-4) got touched up for eight runs on ten hits in four innings of work. Netanya (8-12) has won three straight and pulls within six and a half games of first place Beit Shemesh. Ra'anana (9-14) has dropped two in a row and remains seven games behind the Blue Sox. Miracle 11, Pioneers 6 The Modi'in Miracle capitalized on the Blue Sox loss to beat the Petah Tikva Pioneers 11-6 and pull within 11⁄2 games of first place. Modi'in shortstop Adam Harwood of Los Angeles, California went 2-for-2 with a home run, two RBI, and four runs scored. First baseman Aaron Levin and centerfielder Adalberto Paulino also added to the offensive charge as they each went 2-for-4 with a home run apiece and combined for five RBI. Petah Tikva's Australian catcher Michael Olson went 2-for-3 with three RBI, but it wasn't enough as the Miracle won for the first time in four games. All teams have the day off Wednesday due to Tisha Be'av. Games will resume on Wednesday with the Pioneers visiting the Miracle at Kibbutz Gezer at 5:00 pm. Also at 5:00 pm the Tigers host the Lightning at Sportek in Tel Aviv followed by the Blue Sox at the Express at 7:00 pm at Yarkon Field at the Baptist Village.