Ben Feinman, a pitcher who recently graduated West Broward High School in Florida, threw a no-hitter Thursday, the first in the history of Maccabiah baseball, as Team USA beat Canada 12-0 in its Junior baseball opener. USA went on to slam Israel 15-1 on Friday.
- Maccabiah Games open with 9,000 athletes from 78 countries
- The 'king of Jewish baseball' is bringing Israel into the dugout
The opener was ended after five innings according to the mercy rule. Robert Scherl of Connecticut, who will be playing college ball at the University of Chicago, had a big game offensively with two hits and four RBIS.
Scherl had to overcome hip surgery to make it this far, USA coach Nate Fish told Haaretz on Saturday. “He had a degenerative hip disease, and doctors told him as a young child he’d never be able to play sports,” said Fish.
On Friday, USA defeated Israel in front of a crowd of some 1,000 spectators. “It was really encouraging,” said Fish. “There were a lot of kids from the Israel Association of Baseball.”
The Americans scored two in the first to provide early support for starting pitcher, Dean Kramer.
“He is actually an Israeli citizen,” said Fish, who noted Kramer’s mother is from Israel. “He’s from California and going to Delta Community College, which has a very good junior college baseball program.”
Justin Diamond, from Las Vegas, closed the game for USA. Jason Schoen had a big hit early.
“Jacob Diller has been playing well at second base,” added Fish. “We’re pitching well, making plays. Ben had a lot of strikeouts. There weren’t a lot of balls put into play. Technically we’ve given up only two hits.”
India slips past Israeli cricketers
Israel’s cricket team had a disappointing outing Friday, losing to India by two wickets in the 50-overs format in Ashdod on Friday. Israel won the toss, batted first and got off to a good start. The team “found the conditions difficult,” according to former captain Herschel Guttman. Israel “scored 155, which we thought was a fair score on that pitch,” he told Haaretz Saturday. “And then we started off very well and reduced the Indians to eight wickets down with 45 runs needed to win.”
Unfortunately for Israel, the team dropped some vital catches, allowing India to charge ahead and claim victory. Elsewhere in Maccabiah cricket action Friday, England scored 150 and bowled South Africa out for 90 in Lod, while Australia scored 250 and bowled Canada out for 130 in Hadar Yosef.
Softball moral victory
Israel’s softball teams ran into trouble at both the Open and Masters level but walked away with some consolation. The Open team stuck with Canada for five innings, but the Canadians broke away with five runs in the sixth to win 8-1 on the mercy rule.
Benjamin Gigan racked up three RBIs on two hits from Canada, doubling in the decisive sixth to score Adam Frydman and Lenny Federman and break open the game. Robert Bohbot then knocked in Gigan with a two-run homer.
Israel’s Masters softball team lost to the USA 7-0 but held them all the way for the full seven innings.
“We had some really good shots, but these guys played it well,” Israel Softball’s Ami Baran told Haaretz on Saturday.”It was 3-0 for five and then they hit a two-run homer.”
Baran stressed the significance of the length of the game. “We never played the U.S. seven innings before,” he noted. “We used to play them three to four innings, and they’d kill us, so we’re getting better.”