Opening day in the AFI-ISA Men’s Softball League was “so nice, they played twice.” In the season opener, the Playaz narrowly beat Shalosh Shalosh, while in the nightcap Sandlot Boyzz were outclassed by the Copia Class Clowns.
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The premier was a defensive gem, with Yoav Deutsch, the ace starting pitcher for Shalosh Shalosh, bringing the heat early and often. Deutsch helped his own cause on offense, hitting a two-run homer to left center in the bottom of the first, then dominated on the mound, taking a no-hitter into the penultimate inning.
Playaz looked to rally in the sixth, with Ari Shaulson getting aboard on a hard shot for extra bases. But on the key play of the game the Shalosh Shalosh defense came up with great execution, nailing Shaulson at the hot corner as he tried to stretch a double into a triple. The Playaz subsequently put a lone run on the board, for the razor-thin 2-1 final.
The second fixture could hardly have been as close as the first. Sandlot Boyzz scored two runs early, as Shua Danny hit a two run homer in the gap. However Copia came storming back, with an offensive barrage in the first two innings that opened an 11-2 lead. Meanwhile, the Copia defense shut the door as pitcher Yechiel Fragin attacked the strike zone, while his teammates robbed Sandlot of several likely hits with stellar plays in the field.
Aryeh Kahn extended the lead for Copia with his first home run of the season, and Sandlot Boyzz then closed the gap slightly, putting a few more runs on the board for the 16-5 score.
“They were the better team tonight,” said Sandlot Boyzz Manager Ralph K. Dubbs. “We need more focus out there if we want to make a run at the Holyland Series Trophy.”
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