Softball: CleanTech, RiseHi set up finals rematch

Defending champions defeat the Beit Shemesh Suns 17-7 at Gezer.

The defending champion CleanTech Warriors are back in the finals after disposing the Beit Shemesh Suns 17-7 at Gezer on Tuesday. The Warriors will now meet Rise-Hi – which beat Optica International 18-8 in the other semifinal game – in a rematch of last year’s exhilarating finale.
CleanTech broke their semifinal game open in the third, scoring eight runs on 11 hits, and never looked back, cruising to their fifth victory in a row. The team’s 1-2-3 hitters set the pace, with Joe Federman, Avi Dzik and Yaniv Tsaidi all collecting four hits and two runs. Aron Heller, Aaron Lazor and Matt Brenner each had three hits for a CleanTech offense peaking at the right time.
“We are feeling very confident right now as a team. At this stage ofthe season everyone’s got their bumps and bruises, but real championsjust have to play through the pain,” said Heller, the team manager.“We’ve got some unfinished business with Rise-Hi.”
In the other semi, after OI opened the scoring, Rise-Hi stormed out ofthe gates and answered with nine runs in the bottom half of the firstinning.
OI responded with five runs in the top of the second, keyed by athree-run HR by catcher Chaim Baldesare to close to 9-6, but Rise-Hiscored four more in the second, five in the fifth inning and andanother two in the sixth on a towering HR by Sammy Tover to secure therout.
Ed Harow pitched brilliantly for Rise-Hi, which recently added a newinsignia patch on the front of their uniforms in solidarity with IDFElite Navy Commando unit SHAYETET 13.