Baseball / IBL / Beit Shemesh shuts out Modi'in 3-0 to win inaugural championship
Rafael Bergstrom pitches complete game for Blue Sox; strikes out eight .
The Beit Shemesh Blue Sox shut out the Modi'in Miracle 3-0 to win the inaugural Israel Baseball League Championship in front of 2,600 fans at Yarkon Field last night.
The Blue Sox's Rafael Bergstrom dominated the Miracle offense and earned the victory with a complete game shutout, striking out eight batters and walking none.
Although Modi'in outhit Beit Shemesh, it was the Blue Sox who manufactured the runs.
Beit Shemesh took the lead in the bottom of the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Jason Rees, scoring Sean Slaughter.
The Blue Sox scored their second run in the bottom of the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Ben Pincus. Beit Shemesh added their third run in the bottom of the fifth when Gregg Raymundo (2-for-3) singled and drove in Sean Slaughter from second base.
Modi'in threatened in the top of the sixth inning with runners on first and third and two outs. However, Bergstrom struck out Adalberto Paulino (2-for-4) to end the inning.
Following the game, IBL Commissioner Dan Kurtzer presented the championship trophy to the Beit Shemesh team, which never fell below first place throughout the season.
Manager Ron Blomberg spoke during the ceremony. "I've been in two World Series with the New York Yankees, and this championship lives up to both," he said.
The commissioner also presented the individual season achievement awards to the IBL's top players.
The Hank Greenberg Award for Most Valuable Player will be shared by Eladio Rodriguez of Modi'in and Gregg Raymundo of Beit Shemesh.
The Commissioner's Award for Sportsmanship and Character goes to Aaron Pribble (Tel Aviv Lightning) and Brendan Rubenstein (Ra'anana Express).
The Commissioner's Award for Distinguished Service goes to Eric Holtz of Beit Shemesh, a player-coach with the team who also filled in as player-manager.
The award for best pitcher goes to Juan Feliciano of Beit Shemesh, and the Most Valuable Israeli Player is Dan Rothem of Tel Aviv.
The league's batting champion was Eladio Rodriguez, who hit .461 in the regular season. The home run champion was Jason Rees with 17. Aaron Pribble won the league's ERA title at 1.94.
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