Tuesday night marked the grand opening of Sportek Field in Tel Aviv so Tel Aviv pitcher Daniel Kaufman commemorated the night with a dominating one-hitter, leading the Lightning to a 5-1 win over the Netanya Tigers.
Kaufman tossed a no-hitter through six innings before giving up a solo homerun to Dominican Julio Guerrero in the top of the seventh.
The right-handed Georgian struck out nine batters while walking just one in 6 1/3 innings of work to earn his second win of the season.
Leading the Lightning offensive charge was Dominican shortstop Raul Franco, who went 2-3 with two RBI and one run scored. In the fifth inning Franco paired with designated hitter Matt Brill for back-to-back homers as Tel Aviv wins for the sixth consecutive game.
Meanwhile, the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox stayed two games ahead of Tel Aviv with a 6-4 victory over the Modi'in Miracle at Gezer Field.
Modi'in went up 1-0 in the first inning off a homerun from first baseman Aaron Levin. Following that run, however, Bet Shemesh pitcher Jason Benson would settle down and not allow another run until the seventh inning.
Benson let the offense take care of the rest as Californian Gregg Raymundo hit a 3-run double in the second. Also adding some offense was Australian outfielder Jason Rees who went 2-4 on the night with a 2-run homer in the seventh, his league-leading eighth homerun of the season.
In the bottom the seventh Modi'in leftfielder Moko Moanaroa put the Miracle within two runs with a 3-run shot, but it was not enough as manager Art Shamsky's club drops to 5-5 on the season. The loss puts the Miracle five games behind the Blue Sox.
The late game at Yarkon Field was a match up of the teams with the worst records in the league as the Ra'anana Express beat the Petach Tikva Lightning 4-2.
Californian Travis Zier pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits while striking out five and walking six. Zier gave up a 2-run double to the Pioneer's Canadian third baseman Dustin Melanson in the second inning that made the score 2-0. But the Express offense came back with a fourth-inning solo homer from first baseman Juan Ramirez before taking the lead in the fifth when shortstop Donnie Mott, Jr. hit a 2-run blast. The loss is the seventh in a row for Petach Tikva.
Wedensday at Gezer Field the Modi'in Miracle hosts the Petach Tikva Pioneers at 5:00 pm and the Tel Aviv Lightning play the Netanya Tigers at Sportek, also at 5:00 pm. At 7:00 pm the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox visit the Ra'anana Express at Yarkon Field at the Baptist Village.