2015 Championship Series
Westrock 5 NJAIM 6
Oh what a game….what a series…. there are no losers in this one.
In an emotionally depleting series that saw 2 one run games, go down to the wire, it was all for the marbles in this fight to the finish…… Game 3.
The docs jumped off to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the third, when Meir Stimmel (2 for 5) led off the inning with a blast to deep LF over the head of Naftali Mark for a triple. Stimmeli would be brought home on a single by Jack Bodner (3 for 5 with an RBI) for the first run of the game. Cy Young Yitz Greenbaum followed with a single to shallow center moving Bodner to second. That brought up the dangerous Noam Block (3 for 6 with 1 RBI). Block hit a sharp ground ball to second for a fielders choice brining home Bodner for the second run. Ari Shatkin (3 for 6 with 1 RBI) followed with a single to center field, which the speedy Block wasn’t going to be stopped, and beat the throw home. Attempts to nail Shatkin going to second, was met with an uncharacteristic laps in awareness by Westrock, as Shatkin proceeded to circle the bases for the fourth run.
Westrock got a run on the board in the top of the 6th. but the docs answered swiftly in the bottom of the 6th with a sac fly by Jason Shatkin, after Moe Hans and Avi Orlansky executed a double steal.
It would stay 5-1 for a while, as the crowd marveled at the insane defense of Ari Shatkin, diving to his left and right, stealing hits and hearts from Westrock. This team couldn’t put together a rally without it being turned into a double play, or stopped by diving catch by Ari Shatkin or Moe hans. Yitz Greenbaum was awesome not losing command, and giving up nothing……
As we entered the top of the 9th with the score 5-1 the drone was flying and cameras were going….The champagne was on ice and the game was seemingly in the docs hands.
Westrock however did not win 4 championships to go down without a fight. A combination with a temporary loss of command by Greenbaum followed by a string of hits and smart conservative base running by Westrock, brought up Dovid Katz with the tying run on second. Still the drone flew…. And the docs were getting nervous….. A hard ground ball to the sure gloved Ari Shatkin hit off that ever soft glove one time, bringing 2 around and tying the game at 5….. An easy win was not to be and The Ribbono Shel Ohlam was not going to let this one go easy for either side, and why should it have been???? To extra innings we go.
Greenbaum found his composure and the docs defense was solid once again, as Shmuel Loebenberg, a CY Young in his own right, was pitching on fumes, as these two masters of their craft were trading blanks in nothing short of artistic athleticism.
In the bottom of the 12th inning, Jack Bodner, the hero of last years world series, led off with a single to CF. Noam Block singled to short center bringing Bodner to third… That brought up, who else, but the defensive star of the game Ari Shatkin with 2 out. In this doctors opinion, it was the heavens above, that opened up and decided the outcome of this game….. on a 1-1 pitch, Shatkin turned on it and launched a line drive into left field, that took only second, but felt like minutes as the ball finally landed and Bodner crossed the plate for the winning run.
Pandemonium erupted on the field as NJAIM entered into immortality once again, defending their championship crown, and will have the honor of continuing to be present on the RJSL web site for at least 12 more months…….. As good as these two teams have played, and as good as last years championship series was, it paled in comparison to this season in what will forever be remembered as the best championship series in RJSL history. Ari Shatkin was named series MVP for his outstanding and wonderful defensive play as well as his strong offensive play especially tonight going 3 for 6 tonight alone.
Congratulations to Shmuel Lobenberg, Steve Romer, Dovid Singer, Mike Chasen, Dovid Katz, Naftoli Mark, Jeremy Nussbaum, Shumy Reichman, Yossi Ritterman, Levi Rosenberg, Dovi Schrieber, Ushy Schwartz, as you guys are every bit a champion, minus only the trophy. A heart breaking loss for sure, but a tremendous team… and a better group of men... you are. The final score does not diminish the fight and ferocity you showed in coming back in the 9th inning, and almost breaking NJAIM’s heart irreparably.Congratulations to the entire NJAIM team, who may have lost both a perfect season and an undefeated season, but valiantly defended the title with a thrilling victory tonight, with tremendous defense and strong fundamental play. On behalf of NJAIM, Westrock, Sam and Marve….. and the entire Rockland Jewish Softball league, we wish everyone a ksiva vchisma tovah. We wish you a wonderful year, and cannot wait until Sunday May 1, 2016 when once again the lights on Reisman will shine with life, as the RJSL season will enter back into our lives……
Westrock 3 NJAIM 2
Tonight's game was everything it was expected to be when two very talented teams play their best assets in a championship match-up. Last night Westrock had the win in its sights but could not pull the trigger. In Game 2, Westrock stuck to the fundamentals and played great defense, rallied behind starting pitcher Schmuel Loebenberg and hit sufficiently well to tie the series 1-1. Westrock was tonight represented by Singer at first base, Rosenberg at second base, Nussbaum at short stop, Ritterman at third base, Schrieber at short center, Mark in left field, Reichmann in centerfield, Katz in right field, Loebenberg at pitcher, Romer and Schwartz at catcher and Chasen as DH.
Dovid Katz deserves tremendous accolades for hitting a triple over Moshe Hans head bringing home a much needed run and then Singer hit a sacrifice fly bringing home Katz. Pitcher Loebenberg was back in great form, taking control of his game and giving NJAIM nothing to hit. A sincere shout-out to NJAIM players Block, Hans and Bodner who have played flawless defense for their team. And of course the notorious NJAIM pitcher Yitz Greenbaum (the bunter) who leaves it all out on the field game after game after game.
Game 3 should be no less exciting and game strategies have already begun in preparation for this great finale. We hope that league players and their families will come out and enjoy this wonderful competition Wednesday night and with that...we bid you good night.
Westrock 5 NJAIM 6
When these 2 great teams get together it always promises to be an excellent game, and tonight would not disappoint. It was Jeremy Nussbaum filling in at pitcher, and if the docs thought it would be easier they had another thing coming.
Westrock led off with two catcher interference calls, followed by a bloop single to right field by Jeremy Nussbaum loading the bases. The dangerous Mike Chasen followed with a 2 base error of the glove of Yoram Ozeri scoring 2...This was followed by a seeing eye infield hit by Yossie Ritterman and a ground ball to Meir Stimmel which was almost a double play…. but Ushy Schwartz with blazing speed beat it out, scoring the third run for Westrock.
In the bottom of the second, Dov Glickman, reached on an error by third baseman Rosenberg, followed by a single by Moe Hans, with Al Tenembaum advancing to third. Jason Shatkin hit a sac fly scoring first of the docs runs.
It would stay like that until the bottom of the fifth…when Dov Glickman led off with a line drive double to left, followed by a single by Hans. Jason Shatkin would then follow up with a single, knocking in Glickman, and sending Moe Hans to third. Stephan Gruenbaum would hit a sac fly, scoring Hans from third, and the docs would tie the game at 3.
If NJAIm thought Westrock was done, they had another thing coming…. Benyamin Weinstein hit a ground ball to the usually sure handed Meir Stimmel, but in the cloud of dust by Stimmel he could not come up with the ball. That brought up the dangerous Shummy Reichmann who sliced a triple into right center scoring Weinstein. Reichmann would score on Dovid Singers sac fly… Westrock led 5-3
Noam Block who Westrock did a great job of keeping down all night… slammed a pitch just to the right of the right fielder Weinstein, and off to the races it was for this speedy menace who swiftly cleared all the bases for a inside the park HR, and it was 5-4.
It would stay this way. Long fly balls by Mike Chasen and Levi Rosenberg that went deep into the night sky were caught by Moe Hans, who seeming got everything that came out there tonight. Diving in front of him, and over the shoulder catches by this gold glove left fielder left everyone speechless.
Westrock was close…. the docs were hoping Nussbaum would implode….he didn’t walk nary a soul….. and kept fighting. Before the docs knew it, it would be one out in the bottom of the ninth….Yitz greenbaum on a half swing got on first.Yoram Ozeri knocked him over to second on a ground ball to the second baseman. That brought up the dangerous Noam Block…. Nussbaum wanted no part of Block and gave him nothing good to hit…. but rather than intentionally walking Block, they decided to not give him anything good to hit. A wild pitch later and Greenbaum is on third. How different is the outcome if Ari Shatkin comes up with first and second, rather than first and third???? Well… for that seemingly small mistake…with 2 strikes and Shatkin looking down the barrel of a loaded gun… Shatkin hits a sizzling ground ball to third, as hard as can be hit…. which was hit off the glove of Rosenberg scoring Greenbaum and tying the game….. at 5.
To extra innings we go…..
In the top of the 10th, Yossi Ritterman hits a ground ball to Stimmel which he doesn’t co. Ushy Schwartz hits a ground ball similar to how Stimmel ended the world series last year but the throw to Shatkin was wild, and Schwarts takes off for second, but the throw beat him by 10 feet, and Schwartz was out. Levi Rosenberg hit a blast again as far as the eye could see…. long and deep that Moe Hans ran down….
Bottom 10…former MVP Al Tenembaum, led off with a single, followed by Dov Glickmans single to CF. This bringing up the dangerous Moe Hans…. and would prove to be the play of the game. Hans slams a 2-1 pitch into left field…. with Naftali Mark coming up with it and firing home with all of his heart…. but his heart would be broken tonight as the Tenembaum touches home… and wins this awesome game 6-5.
With joy and glee the docs celebrated while Westrock was not to be consoled…. The looks in their eyes told the whole story. It was a team that played well enough to win…. deserved to win… and that made it hurt that much more.
Will they bounce back? Will this lost crush them??? We get to find out tomorrow….if your emotions can take it…. come down. No team will win 10-0 Monday night. There will be as much emotion in this game as there can possibly be….Even the spectators in the stands are coming home emotionally spent. I can tell you one thing…. both teams will leave it all out there. There isn’t a guy on the field who is not and was not a champion at least once, and it shows….. and it shows….
In the words of the immortal Doc Friedman…. The best thing about baseball….is you can fix tomorrow…what went wrong today…..