Baseball loses to YULA but wins league

Sammy Sheff

Zev Hurwitz, Opinion Editor

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In yet another upsetting match with its cross-town rival, the Shalhevet boys’ baseball team came up short against YULA, losing 3-2 on May 6. Played at West Los Angeles College, the afternoon game had been going in the Firehawks’ favor until a throwing error allowed two YULA runs to score in the sixth inning. Until that inning, Shalhevet had led 2-0.

The YULA game was the first for new head coach Jack Bitton, a real estate agent who used to coach Firehawk pitcher and captain Saul Rothman in Little League. Bitton had only met with the team once before the game.

“I don’t even know all their names yet,” he said with a grin before the game started.

Bitton is replacing the former coach Shalhevet’s Mashgiach Ruchani Rabbi Aaron Parry, who had volunteered to coach after longtime coach Cash Levy decided not to return this year.

Having made playoffs this year, the team still has several games to go, with an overall record of 10 and 1  in the Mulholland League.

Coach Bitton will manage the team through the post-season. After that, Bitton’s future with the Firehawks is up in the air.

“It’s something we’ll have to discuss with Mr. Tranchi,” said Saul’s father, Mark Rothman, who helped acquire Bitton.

At the YULA game, Saul pitched all six innings of defense, striking out eight batters, beginning with the first three he faced. The Firehawks’ runs came when freshmen Sammy Sheff and JoJo Fallas scored on a passed ball.

With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, Saul Rothman overthrew the ball past third base trying to pick off the runner.  The ball rolled out into left field, allowing two Panther runs to be scored.

Though the loss was painful, the team had good sentiments leaving the field.

“I’m smiling right now,” said sophomore third-baseman Josh Meisel. “They’re a good team and we know we can beat them.”

Freshman catcher Danny Silberstein said simply through gritted teeth, “Get ‘em next time.”

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