Litvack continues fine form for Miracle

The Modi'in Miracle hosted the Ra'anana Express in Wednesday's doubleheader as the Miracle took the first game 5-0. Australian lefty Matt Bennett dominated with six innings of work, allowing no runs on just one hit while striking out eleven and walking three. Catcher Steve Litvack added a two-run homerun in the fourth inning, his fourth long ball of the year. The Miracle also took the second game, downing the Express 8-5. Express centerfielder Matt Castillo of Phoenix, Arizona went 2-for-4 with three RBI, but it wasn't enough as manager Art Shamsky's club extended its winning streak to four games. The Petah Tikva Pioneers led the Tel Aviv Lightning 5-0 through three innings, but the Lightning struck back to win 12-5. The Pioneers' early lead came with the help of a two-run homer from first baseman Alper Ulutas in the third. But from that point on Tel Aviv took control of the game to score three runs in the fourth when Dominican shortstop Raul Franco stole home and centerfielder Bryan Langbord hit an RBI-double. The game between the Beit Shemesh Blue Sox and Netanya Tigers was called after six innings due to darkness, but it was enough to declare a definitive winner as the Sox won 14-3. Rafael Bergstrom of Sacramento, California, picked up his league leading sixth victory, tossing five innings and giving up two earned runs on six hits with five strikeouts and two walks. Bergstrom also leads the league with a 2.02 ERA. He got plenty of offensive support as shortstop Gregg Raymundo raised his league leading average to .557 by going 2-for-3 with his tenth homer and fourth RBI. First baseman Johnny Lopez pitched in with a 2-for-3 night and is now tied for the league lead in homeruns by hitting his 13th of the season. \ Leftfielder Mike Lyons added his second IBL homerun and three RBI as the Blue Sox extended their win streak to five games. Jerusalem native Moish Lewis drove a line drive to center that brought in two runs and began a six-run rally thanks in part to consecutive singles by first baseman Aaron Levin and designated hitter Eladio Rodriguez. The Lightning tied the game in the fifth inning when Franco hit a two-run single and Petach Tikva pitcher Andrew Morales walked in the go-ahead run as Tel Aviv scored five more in the seven to remain 2.5 games out of first place.