Maccabiah / Softball |

Israel Struggling in Prelims

Steve Klein
Steven Klein
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Steve Klein
Steven Klein

Israel’s Anglo softball representatives had some heartbreak, but also some highlights, at the Maccabiah Games over the past two days.

The men’s Masters team outhit Team USA 8-7, but yielded at least a run in each of the first five innings, losing 8-2 at Maor on Wednesday night. America’s Jeffrey Eisfelder racked up three RBIs on just one hit, a third inning home run.

Team USA’s Fred Cohen got the win thanks to six strikeouts, while tossing a complete game. A solo home run by Howie Hirsch pulled Israel to within a run at 3-2 in the third inning. But Cohen struck out Blair Portnoy to end the inning, while Eisfelder’s three-run shot in the bottom of the frame put the Americans out of reach.

Yesterday, Israel lost again, this time to Canada − 7-0 in five innings. Murray Margolis fanned eight for Canada in the shutout.

Israel is now 0-5 and faces Venezuela today at Maor, while Canada is second in the group at 4-1. Team USA improved to a perfect 5-0 after blowing away Venezuela 10-0 in four innings yesterday.
The Israel men’s open team had a similar letdown in its 13-5 loss Wednesday to Canada. Leading 4-3 going into the bottom of the fourth, Israel’s pitching fell apart as 10 Canadians crossed home plate. There were five lead changes before the Canadians settled the final result.

The disappointment followed a better outing earlier in the day, when a six-run fifth propelled Israel to an 11-4 rout of Cuba. Yaniv Rosenfeld collected three hits and four RBIs in the victory.

In the Israel-Canada game, Canada smashed five home runs. Robert Bohbot connected for the first one in the third. The other four all came in the momentous fourth, from Josh Bendahan, Daniel Osterer, Adam Frydman and Bobby Mikelberg. Osterer finished with two RBIs and three hits for Canada.

Jason Dinetz got the win for Canada despite allowing five runs over five innings.

On the women’s side, Team USA blew out Israel 13-0 in the Open division yesterday morning at Maor. The Americans exploded for 11 runs in the top of the third. Emily Bliss racked up five RBIs on two hits for Team USA, doubling in both the first and third innings. Israel managed just one hit against Lena Brottman, who yielded no walks and struck out five in earning the shutout. 

The 2009 Maccabiah opening ceremonyCredit: Nir Keidar