Over one hundred fans came from Brooklyn, Queens and even Long Island to see the Yeshivah of Flatbush take on Hillel High School in a cutthroat championship baseball game, on a beautiful day at Fireman’s Field in Deal, NJ.
The fans lined the bleachers and some brought their own chairs. One YOF fan even brought a barbecue grill to tailgate during the game. The ice cream man, another happy camper, said, “Good business today!” Senora Birman and Senora Shter of the YOF Spanish Department were spotted enjoying the game as well. “This is the highlight of my four years at Hillel,” said Captain Morris Kassin. “There is no better way to end than with a championship.”
“In over 30 years of playing and coaching hardball and softball, this is the most talented team, position by position, that I have ever had the honor of being associated with,” said Coach Gindi of the Hillel Heat.
Coach Joe Sciallo and Co-Coach Jan Sandusky of YOF have been preparing for this moment ever since their defeat by Hillel last season. The YOF roster was Jacob Ashkenazi, Noam Benamy, Isaac Shmulewitz, Eliyahu Levin, David Tawil, Abie Chabbot, Joey Chehova, Aryieh Gottlieb, Daniel Harari, Joseph (Jojo) Hedaya, Avishai Weiss, Leo Kassin, Marc Richter, Mourad Kattan, Andrew Katz, Maurice Schmool, Josh Rosenbaum and Robert Wadler.
The seniors of the Hillel Heat were lead by Captain Morris Kassin and included Edward Cohen, Morris Harary, Jeff Chera, Eli Ashear, Cesar Salama, Steven Saka, Edward Arking and Ezra Kassin. They were joined by juniors Edmund Dweck, Joey Sultan, Jackie Tawil, Elliot Harary, Jordan Rumeld, Gabe Abady, David Winitsky and Elliot Antebi.
In the first inning, Flatbush threatened but was unable to put a run across. With two outs and a man on first, Flatbush hit a bomb to center field, which was fielded quickly by junior centerfielder Jackie Tawil, who turned and gunned the runner out at home.
The Heat struck first in the bottom of the second when Jackie Tawil lead off with a single and then advanced to third on a single by Elliot Harary. Junior Joey Sultan then drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single up the middle. Ed Cohen faced 11 batters over the next three innings, allowing only two to reach base.
The Heat struck again in the bottom of the third, in what would turn out to be the most crucial play of the Heat’s season and the eventual winning run. With one out senior Jeff Chera singled to left. Junior Gabe Abady hit a weak fly ball to center, which bounced in front of the Flatbush player. Jeff Chera advanced to third when the ball was thrown into second, where Abady drew the attention of the defense long enough to allow Chera to easily score. Neither team was able to capitalize over the fourth and fifth innings due to strong defense on both sides.
Flatbush was able to break through in the top of the sixth when first baseman Marc Richter drove in junior pitcher Mourad Kattan, who led off with a single.
The Heat answered right back in the bottom of the sixth when junior Edmund Dweck led off with a two-out double. Coach David Gindi brought in junior Jordan Rumeld to pinch run and he scored on an RBI single by senior Edward Cohen.
But Flatbush wasn’t done. Left fielder Abie Chabbot lead off with a single. After designated hitter Leo Kassin hit a fly out to left field, right fielder Eliyahu Levin drew a walk to put Chabbot into scoring position. Second baseman Jacob Ashkenazi lined out to a perfectly positioned Joey Sultan, who was able to keep both runners from advancing. With two outs and two on, catcher Ben Mann hit a ground ball to third, which was picked up by Rummeld, who fired off balance to first. Dweck scooped the ball out of the dirt and all mayhem broke loose as the fans stormed the field to celebrate with the champions—Hillel Heat.
It was a good run for the seniors on both teams, who all made it to the championship—a great way to end their high school careers. Thanks to all the fans who came to watch and all the players who played their hearts out. Statistics, roster, news and chat for the upcoming seasons can be viewed at YOFsoftball.com.
Congratulations to the YOF and Hillel seniors of 2008!
Charlie Shrem is a recent YOF graduate.