Ra'anana's Pie throws league's first no-hitter in 1-0 win

Beit Shemesh Blue Sox defeats Tel Aviv Lightning 8-2, giving the Blue Sox a 2-0 record.

pie pithcer 88 (photo credit: )
pie pithcer 88
(photo credit: )
It took a home run derby at Yarkon Field for the Ra'anana Express to earn a 1-0 victory over the Modi'in Miracle after both pitchers hurled complete game shutouts. Ra'anana barely edged Modi'in to win the game 4-3. Ra'anana ace pitcher Esequier Pie threw a no-hitter for the first time in the IBL's history, striking out seven batters. But the game was shrouded in controversy after Modi'in manager Art Shamsky claimed that the bat used by the opposing team during the home run derby was illegal as it was not 100 percent wood. League spokesman Marty Appel said that the umpires confirmed the bat did not fit the regulations and league commissioner Dan Kurtzer will now have to decide how to proceed. Pie was pitching a perfect game for over six innings until he walked three batters in the top of the seventh, escaping a jam with the bases loaded. He felt that he had a strong command of his changeup and fastball and even exclaimed after the game that this was the "biggest surprise in his life." Modi'in's starting pitcher Maximo Nelson almost equaled Pie's performance by only allowing two weak hits and also striking out seven. Shamsky said he was disappointed with the game as he felt his pitcher deserved more after such a masterful outing. But he urged his players to "bounce back for tomorrow's game." The home run derby was one of the league's many firsts in Tuesday's game. Ra'anana's Scott Feller rescued his team by clobbering three home runs in only six allowed swings to seemingly lift his team to victory. Modi'in responded by hitting one home run of their own to reach within one but fell one run short on the last swing. Ra'anana manager Shaun Smith was extremely proud of his team's performance, saying that even if the Express had lost the game still would have been a success. In a team meeting after the game he told his players, "If we play like this the results will be taken care of." While the game was certainly exciting from a baseball point of view a small crowd of only 175 fans were in attendance. The crowd was so passive and quiet during the game that the announcer had to beg the fans to cheer their team on throughout the tense moments of the resulting home run derby. Blue Sox 8, Lightning 2 In the night's other game, at Gezer Field, the Beit Shemesh Blue Sox used a combination of dominating pitching and power hitting to defeat the Tel Aviv Lightning 8-2 and give the Blue Sox a 2-0 record. The Sox weren't in control from the onset, however, as starting pitcher Ben Pincus allowed two runs in the first inning while Tel Aviv starter Daniel Kaufman struck out six in the first two innings. But Tel Aviv would score no more runs as the pitching combination of Pincus, Raf Bergstrom, and Aryeh Rosenbaum shut down the Lightning for the rest of the game, and the Beit Shemesh offense took care of the rest. Australian Jason Rees hit the first home run at Gezer Field in the bottom of the first to put Beit Shemesh within one. The Blue Sox offense continued to shine in the third inning with back-to-back home runs - a grand slam by Jason Rees followed by a Johnny Lopez solo shot, dropping Tel Aviv to 1-1 on the season.