Lelchook tourney a smashing success

Games we play: Israel Softball Association gathers for memorial tournament.

softball 311 (photo credit: courtesy)
softball 311
(photo credit: courtesy)
Israel Softball Association (ISA) players and officials gathered at Kibbutz Shomrat on Friday for the fourth annual memorial tournament.
Lelchook was killed by a Katyusha rocket at his home on Kibbutz Saar during the Second Lebanon War in August 2006.
Players from various ISA league squads combined to form the three tournament teams. Three three-inning games were played. Captains of the tournament teams were Bob Samuels (1993 Israel National Team coach), Yosi Sa’ar (Eilat Flames) and Lowell Blackman (Dawgs).
The tournament ended with all three teams posting one win and one loss. Team Yosi outlasted Team Bob 7-6 in the first game. Team Bob defeated Team Lowell 3-2 in game two and Team Lowell posted a 5-2 victory over Team Yosi in the final game.
The three games featured a series of fielding gems in both the outfield and the infield.
Tal Beinin (Team Bob/Israel Women’s National Team) had three tournament RBIs, Jorge Guilarte Abad (Team Lowell/Cerveceros) stroked an RBI triple to bring his team within one run of tying the second game, Pipo “Manny” Ramirez (Team Bob/Cerveceros) had a two-RBI triple to deep left and Eran Kedar had three run-scoring smashes to right-center.
Bill Arscott (Cerveceros) went all six innings for Team Yosi. Leading 2-1 over Team Lowell in the top of the third inning of game three, Arscott threw a drop pitch for a swinging third strike that should have given him and Team Yosi their second win of the tournament, but the ball got away from the catcher and caromed out of play. That put the strikeout victim on first base and advanced the other baserunners to second and third, still with two out.
Team Lowell took advantage of the break and scored four runs to score the final runs of the game and win 5-2.
Blair Portnoy (Team Bob/Ziontours) baffled Team Lowell’s hitters to post a 3-2 win in game two. And Goose Gillett (Team Lowell/ Tigers) was sharp on the mound to hold Team Yosi to two runs in the third game.
Senior ISA umpire Howie Litz officiated all three games from behind the plate.
A brief ceremony was held between games two and three. The players and spectators observed a minute of silence, remembering the daughters and father and niece of fellow ISA player Shalom Menora. Rikki, Rachel and Moshe Menora and Sara Klein perished in an airplane crash in Michigan earlier this month. Gadi Bossin read a letter from Menora to the tournament participants.
Rabbi Bob Samuels spoke about Dave Lelchook and his legacy. Tournament photos and certificates and a ceremonial ISA softball were presented to the family.
Dave’s mother Doris, from Boston, and sister Judy, from Washington, and Dave’s widow, Estie, and daughters Yael and Michal, of Kibbutz Saar, were tournament guests of honor.