Tel Aviv Captures Fourth Straight Juniors Baseball Title

The Comrades end the Cinderella story of the Ra’anana-Tel Mond Raiders, who had beaten the league leaders in the semis.

Margo Sugarman

The Tel Aviv Comrades are Israel baseball’s Juniors champions for the fourth year in a row, routing underdogs the Ra’anana-Tel Mond Raiders 13-5.

At the championship game Monday at Baptist Village, Comrades starter Yotam Ben Amram and Raiders starter Adam Miller were neck and neck for four innings, each allowing only two runs.

Yoav Meoded stroked an RBI double in the second inning for the Comrades. Hadar Sugarman relieved Miller, opening the door for Tel Aviv to score six runs in the fifth. Ben Amram pitched 6 1/3 strong innings before being relieved by Meoded. The Raiders scored another three runs but came up short.

Tel Aviv had cruised to the finals with an 11-3 victory over the Modi’in-Gezer Miracles last Friday at Kibbutz Gezer. The Comrades’ stellar offense included home runs by Ben Amram, Meoded and David Ibn Ezra.

For the Miracles, Natani Kuhr led off the game with a walk and scored on a double by Boaz Migram. Ori Wachspress started strong for Modi’in-Gezer, effectively mixing his fastball and breaking balls.

Tel Aviv starter Ben Amram pitched four strong innings. Reliever Ely Perlman impressed in the fifth when, with runners on first and second, he shut down the heart of the Miracles’ order. From there Perlman cruised to victory. Other timely hits with runners on base came from Danny Mishkit and Noam Calisar.

Ra’anana-Tel Mond had to work a lot harder Friday at Baptist Village against the league-leading Beit Shemesh Comets. Beit Shemesh pitcher Shlomo Lipman and the Comets stormed to a 6-1 lead in the first two innings.

In the third, the Raiders came back with Sugarman and Miller both slamming doubles in a four-run rally. Sugarman relieved starter Miller in the fourth and halted the Comets’ offensive, but in the fifth the Comets pushed forward to an 8-5 lead.

The teams exchanged the lead twice in the sixth, but with an 11-9 lead in the top of the seventh, the Raiders sent Miller back in to close the door.