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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The TBO 7/8 championship game was a true test of confidence and determination. Both teams hit and played the field well. It was a low scoring, close game that featured six lead changes. Sterling Cleaners pitchers David Grunstein and Gilad Jutkowitz held the St. A’s lineup to only one run in the first 2 innings with help from excellent defensive plays by Rami Knapp. But Zev A. Wiener and Judah Vogel matched their performance sti­fling an excellent Sterling Cleaners team to keep the game tied at 1. Throughout the game St. A’s defense came up big with plays all over the diamond, including Yisroel Shaf­fren with a one-handed stab at 3rd, and put-outs by Ezra Stern, Benny Zelig, and Zev Y. Weiner.

In the bottom of the 6th St. A’s found themselves down 7-5 with only 3 outs re­maining. After a hot-shot triple by Judah Vo­gel to bring the tying run to the plate, Zev A. Wiener came through with a 2-run bomb to notch the game at 7.

In extra innings—after an inspiration­al talk by Coach Avi Vogel which included the words “defense wins championships”— St. A’s faced their greatest challenge. Sterling had the heart of their order up, but St. A’s held them scoreless with Judah Vogel making two diving plays on hard hit balls. With the score tied in the bottom of the 7th, St. A’s loaded the basis with hits from Zack Samuel, Ezra Stern (who despite hitting last in the lineup crushed the ball throughout the game), and lead-off hitter Eitan Vogel. It all came down to Benny Zelig, who ripped a single to left for a walk-off hit to win in dramatic fashion.

One avid fan noted the improvement of St. A’s throughout the season, which was es­pecially evident in their line-up as 1 through 12 became dangerous thanks to the great strides of Jonah Miller, Yonatan Brothman, Sidney Hoenig, and Jacob Zide.

“It was a true team effort” remarked coach and star pitcher Dov Weiner. “We got great contributions in the field and throughout our lineup.” Thanks to the dedication of the coach­es (including Chanan Vogel, who also led Te­aneck Podiatry to the Middle Girls champion­ship), and the persistent effort of the players to refine their skills, St. A’s won it all and had a ton of fun throughout the way!