By Shlomo Ross
It all started at 8:30 this past Sunday morning. The Chabad team, led by David Mark, faced off against Yehuda Koenig and the Young Israel of Woodmere. It was expected to be a classic, and the two teams didn’t disappoint. After YIW got off to a quick start, scoring 2 runs in the first inning, Chabad tied it up in the third. And when YIW took another 2-run lead, Chabad fought back to tie the game again. It looked like Young Israel might have sealed the deal when they scored a run in the top of the 7th, but the bottom of Chabad’s lineup didn’t want the season to end. Dovid Weisman singled to open the bottom of the inning. After YIW recorded an out, Shlomo Ross and Jeff Ganeles singled. Bases were loaded and Chabad was still down a run when Moshe Ross came through in the clutch, singling to tie the game at 3–3. With Chabad’s bench and fans cheering, Natan Cohen came up and hit a fly ball to left field. This allowed Shlomo Ross to score the game-winning run, sending Chabad to the championship game.
In the finals, Beth Sholom took a commanding lead, scoring 5 runs in the first 4 innings. However, once again, Chabad wasn’t just going to give away the trophy. In the bottom of the 4th inning, Dovid Weisman hit a huge home run to bring Chabad within 3. In the bottom of the 5th, Chabad scored another run when Shlomo Ross hit a fly ball to the outfield, which allowed Eli Kirsch to come home. In the bottom of the 6th, Chabad scored 2 more runs on another sac fly by Mendy Herz. After Chabad tied the game, Zack Hatten’s pitching did not allow Beth Sholom to score again. He recorded numerous strikeouts with runners in scoring position and gave Chabad the best chance to win. However, Neil Ostrov, who relieved Beth Sholom’s starter, Avram Schrieber, in the 6th inning, was also on top of his game. He set Chabad down scoreless inning after inning. In the bottom of the 11th inning, Zack Hatten singled, followed by a double by Doniel Pearlman. With runners on 2nd and 3rd, Beth Sholom opted to walk Mendy Herz to load the bases. After getting Eli Kirsch to pop out, Chabad’s best hitter of the day, Dovid Weisman, hit the winning run home.
After 18 innings played in the sweltering heat, Chabad took home the championship trophy.