It was an early day at the ballparks on Friday, but that did not seem to bother the Tel Aviv Lightning, who earned a 5-3 victory over the Modi'in Miracle. The win gives manager Steve Hertz's second-place Lightning a 6-2 record.
6'5" Australian Adam Crabb picked up his third win of the season with a stellar pitching performance. The right-hander, who is unafraid to show his emotion with fist pumping and enthusiastic leaps after a successful inning, tossed a complete game allowing just two earned runs on five hits. He received early support from the offense, including a 3-run homer from right fielder Jeff Hastings.
Down 5-1 in the bottom of the sixth, the Miracle fought back with a home run of their own, a 2-run blast from catcher Eladio Rodriguez.
The homer, which was Rodriguez's third of the season, would not be enough as the Miracle drop to 4-4 on the season.
The other game of the day took place at Yarkon Field where the Netanya Tigers snapped their three-game losing steak to beat the Ra'anana Express 7-3.
A solid performance from lefty Matt Comiter was good enough to give him his first IBL victory. Comiter threw 5 1/3 innings in which he allowed two earned runs on just two hits, striking out six and walking six.
The Tigers scored six of their seven runs in the third inning, but a lot of the credit has to go to a sloppy Express defense that set the table for the Netanya offense. Tigers third baseman Ryan Forsythe put Netanya on the board first with a 2-run single in the bottom of the third. Forsythe, from Tempe, Arizona, went 2-3 with two RBI and one run scored.
Sunday will mark the opening of Sportek as the Petach Tikva Pioneers visit the Netanya Tigers at 5:00 pm. Also on Sunday, the games at Gezer Field and Yarkon Field will be switched to accommodate television crews. At Yarkon, the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox will look to stay undefeated against the Tel Aviv Lightning at 6:00 pm and the Ra'anana Express take on the Modi'in Miracle at Gezer Field at 5:00 pm.
See www.IsraelBaseballLeague.com for directions to the fields.