Main Line Synagogue Softball League
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Prior Year's Final Standings
(5) Beth David - 13 (1) Lower Merion - 6
(2) Beth David - 13 (1) Lower Merion - 6
*Lower Merion gets first place for beating Beth David head to head
*Aish manually moved lower in the standings due to playing only 5 games
(1) Beth David 20 (4) Aish 9
Beth David 5
Temple Sholom 0
Congratulations to Beth David who beat Temple Sholom 5-0 for the Bennett Solomon Memorial Trophy of the Jeff Blum Memorial Championship Tourney. Robby Pearlstein was named the Eddie Ohlbaum MVP of the Tournament.
Beth David has now won the Championship 12 of the 14 years the league has been in existence.
Mazel Tov to all who participated. Once again it was a tremendous year.
Thanks, Scott Plavner
(3) Beth David 6 - (8) Aish 5
BETH DAVID 6
The Beth David Bruins gutted out a 6-5 extra innings championship game win at South Ardmore Park on Labor Day, returning the Bruins to the top of the Main Line Shul League after a one year hiatus, and running their conquest to 10 of 11 championship seasons. The eighth seed Aish looking to play Cinderella instead of dark horse were poised for payback after relinquishing and blowing big leads in successive title games to the Bruins in 2010 and 2011.
The game had all the hallmarks of pre-game drama, nothing new to this storied rivalry as the day began wet and was in peril of being re-scheduled. Potential darkness for a 5:30 start, a slick outfield and rutty infield lead to a deal to make the game an old school 7 inning affair instead of the season standard nine. As usual the Bruins seemed tight from jump, missing a grand opportunity to put Aish in a hole by having two on and no one out with Rob Pearlstein at bat and money in the bank. He hit a hard line drive out which dashed hope of helping his own cause. Perhaps a precursor to the hitting woes that would further frustrate the Bruins, Robert Shoemaker, the Bruins most seasoned batsman hit a blast, the longest of his career which had HR written all over it, but a nice defensive left field put out ended the hopes of a big first inning. The Bruins however, did make up for their offensive shortcomings by displaying exemplary fielding, especially 3rd basemen Michael Colucciello turning back two smashes destined down the left field line and extra bases.
Aish scored single runs in the second, fourth and sixth innings as the game chugged along with one sparkling defensive play after another by both teams. But the Bruins struggled, leaving men in scoring position, inning after inning and for the first time in 11 seasons were scoreless entering the sixth inning. The momentum was sparked by Aish's pitcher, using an overly deliberate modified high arc motion and release which had the Bruins reeling and mis-timing at bats all evening long, an ingenious strategy that nearly carried Aish to their first title.
With six outs left, the Bruins needed divine intervention (not by hearing the Shofar, which served as a rallying cry in 2010-11) but solid hits, and efficient base running led by Steve Berk who singled to open the sixth followed by a double and single drew the game closer at 3-2 entering the seventh. Pearlstein pitched out of another jam, leaving the Bruins in need of one to tie. Three singles, a sac fly and ground out knotted the game at 3 apiece with a walk off opportunity set for Judd Hollander. But it was not to be, as the Bruins were turned back at the end of regulation.
Pearlstein pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth, as Pearlstein Sr. steadfastly worked the ump from afar, and once again with a chance to end it with runners in scoring position with two out, coach Lucoff hit a hard grounder past the pitcher, but a fine defensive play thwarted the potential winning run. The Bruins had back-to-back walk off chances in the 7th and 8th and now Aish finally got back on the offensive track, aided by a mis-played hit by Margolis, allowing one run in and setting up the second as Aish looked to close it out taking a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth.
The Bruins now had to come from behind for a third time in the final four innings! No small feat, however clearly deja vu, with successive deficits as large as 8 runs to Aish in their past two title games! With twilight looming over the well worn field and the Bruins dismayed that they had not heard Conquest profoundly played on the shofar by the commanding presence of Gershon, dependable lead-off man Michael Yecies cooly hit a single, sacrificed to second by Eric Zager, followed by a long hard hit ball to left by Pearlstein that was almost caught, and then the big redemption double by Lucas Margolias to set up Springel's short field sac fly to allow the tag up from third to tie the game. With two outs Peter Ochroch was intentionally walked at the urging of a rival sideline shul coach mystic, setting the stage for the crafty veteran Hollander, who promptly went the other way with a brilliant hit to right field. Game over, and the Bruins walk off and steal another title from Aish 6-5, their third in four years.
States coach Lucoff, "I certainly had my doubts today and the whole playoff run was incredulous and surreal. After being embarrassed out the gate by the hapless Chabad, we finished with a flourish and willed our way back on top after a frustrating loss last year to a better Beth Hillel team. But playing from behind to Aish certainly brings out the best in our players, and I am proud beyond words of this veteran team with an average mean age of infinity. Co-MVP's go to Rob and Judd, especially sweet for Judd who had struggled defensively on this field in a past title games. Our three new players, Barry, Jeff Kalimer and Lucas were steady throughout the season and they all got timely hits, and Jeff along with Steve Berk were the only two players to get three hits. Defensively the ageless wonder, Eric Zager had a quietly brilliant game at short, and getting two big hits as did Michael Yecies, and the soulful Dave Wessels caught Rob well with all of his heat and understated drama."
"I congratulate Aish on playing a great game and showing fine sportsmanship, managed by a class guy Murray August. We look forward to next year and hope we won't have two rain outs ahead of seeing them again in the playoffs."
(2) Beth David 4 (1) Beth Hillel R 6
BETH HILLEL REMINGTON 6
BETH DAVID 4
I have waited an incredibly long time (I think 9 or 10 years) to write this email. After 3 failed attempts by Beth Hillel, we can finally sing the words to the old Queen song "WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS." We battled mightily to get a team to the semi-final against Main Line reform. We endured multiple rainouts and we finally reached game day. The game was played at 4:00 at Penn Valley (an unfamiliar field). The Sun shone brightly and directly at the left side of the field. The wind was mild with gusts. All of which made every fly ball an adventure.
The game began, and each team had 12 batters. A fair fight! Beth David had won 9 straight league championships. Watching them in warmups, they were smashing the ball all over the place. Their pitcher, Rob Pearlstein, would be throwing as hard as he is capable. We knew it would not be easy. We also absolutely believed we were the better team. That all we had to do was play well to win. No Villanova basketball 1985 perfection was needed. That thought came to fruition on the very first batter. He popped up in foul territory down the leftfield line, but the sun conspired to prevent our spectacular leftfielder, Len Feldman, from picking up the ball. 'New life" came the cheers from the Beth David bench. He used the new life to get a hit that died in the grass for a leadoff double. Two batters later, we were down 1-0; but prevented further damage.
Now it was our turn to answer. Adam Roseman began his perfect day at the plate with a walk (leadoff walks always score). With one out Seamless.com player of the game (note special sponsorship), Jon Zabusky started his monster day with a triple, scoring Adam. Jon followed on Guy Judkowski's RBI. We took the field in the 2nd up 2-1, the closest the game would be.
In the 2nd, Tom Calaman hit a 1 out double, with a screamer down the 3rd base line. Michael Berry knocked him in with a critical single. 3-1 after 2.
While we held them scoreless until the 7th inning, we added another run to our lead. They did not even get a runner to 3rd in those middle innings. We threw some great leather around. Jeff Sansweet made 3 huge plays at 3rd--including a full layout catch on a line drive. Len and Jon battled the sun and wind and caught everything. Michael Cohen had 2 outfield assists from rightfield. The second, was a fantastic throw to 3rd to end a scoring threat. Guy Judkowski and I proved practice makes perfect on another one of our patented 3-1 putouts. Finally, I struck out the hitter I consider the toughest one in the league for me to face--my opposing pitcher. On a 1-2 count, I threw him a backhanded change, which he was way out in front of.
In the meantime, we extended our lead to 4-1 after 4. Jon Z lead off with a double. He moved to 3rd on Guy J's sac fly; and scored on the game's only error, when the throw skipped by the 3rd baseman and out of play. In the 7th, Beth David cut the lead to 2--leadoff walks always score. We answered right back. JZ again lead off with a double (that's 3-3 with 2 doubles and triple--very muscular). Len Feldman then singled, and moved to 2nd, when the throw home kept Jon at 3rd. Michael Cohen, had clearly put some fear in BD, and was intentionally walked to load the bases. Tom Calaman, took the insult, and lined a single over the 2nd baseman's head. This brought our senior member, Tony Green to the plate. Tony had been having a rough time handling the heat he was seeing, and had struck out swinging earlier in the game. With the game on the line, and the bases loaded, he showed what a gamer he is, with a line drive past the 1st baseman. 6-2 after 7.
9 time defending champions don't go away easily. They started the 8th inning with runners on 2nd and 3rd and no outs. The leather took over again. It took them an out to get each run home and we were out of the inning.
The score remained 6-4 as we headed out to the field for the 9th inning. Smiles, confidence, and little nervousness accompanied us. 3 outs to go! The first batter hit a fly ball that JZ tracked down and kept the ball in his ball mitt(ice cream cone style). 2 outs to go! The next batter worked the count to 3-2 after the 1st 2 pitches were strikes. He lined a single to center, and the tying run came to the plate. A sharp ground ball back to the pitcher--I turned and threw to Adam covering 2nd--he made the transfer cleanly and threw to Guy J at 1st. DOUBLE PLAY!!!!!!!!!!!! GAME OVER. NEW CHAMPIONS HAD BEEN CROWNED! Beth David were fine champions and were very gracious and complimentary in defeat. True sportsmanship between true rivals.
GREAT TEAM PERFORMANCE BY EVERY MEMBER OF THE TEAM--THOSE PRESENT IN BODY AND IN SPIRIT. Each and every player on the roster, contributed some critical play throughout the year, without which we could not have won it all.
Guy Abramowitz, Bennett Andelman, Michael Berry, Tom Calaman, Mitchell Clair, Michael Cohen, Len Feldman, David Fox, Oren Friedman, Tony Green, Guy Judkowski, Hal Kanefsky, Adam Roseman ,Jeff Sansweet, Ari Sherwood, Jon Zabusky, Howard Zwick
2011 Final Standings
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