The Ra’anana Raiders took an early lead and never looked back in the Fall Season championship of the Israel Association of Baseball’s Premier League, beating the Tel Aviv Comrades 8-5 last Tuesday at the Baptist Village in Petah Tikva.
Alejandro Eskenazi was the winning pitcher for Ra’anana, allowing four hits and two runs over five innings, and striking out five. Ben Flesher threw two innings in relief. Dan Rothem took the loss for Tel Aviv, going three innings, allowing four runs on three hits and striking out six.
At the bottom of the first inning Ra’anana’s Flesher singled and then scored on a defensive interference call to take the team into the lead. In the second inning, Tel Aviv tied the game for the only time, when Harel Kronik hit a fly ball double and scored on a single from Ophir Katz.
Ra’anana neutralized the Tel Aviv run. With two outs, a walk from Adam Cohen was followed by a hard hit ground ball by Amitai Levy who reached base on an error, bringing Cohen in to score.
Ra’anana added a third run in the third inning with Ori Wachspress doubling and then scoring on a line drive single by Avi Alter.
With Tel Aviv still unable to add to their run tally, Ra’anana’s bats heated up in the fourth, with Eally Chorev scoring on an error and Shaked Baruch, Flesher and Cody Vallez Norton all scoring on a single by Wachspress. In the sixth, Baruch added another run on a ground out by Flesher.
Tel Aviv hinted at a resurgence with two walked in runs from Katz and Itai Goldner in the top of the seventh, and a run from Laderman on a hard ground ball to center from Dean Perlman. But it wasn’t enough, as Flesher cooled the Tel Aviv offense with two strikeouts to end the game.
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