Sad ending for seniors as baseball falls to YULA

Ashley Mashian, Photo Editor

Elliot Sassover, 10th Grade, and Colleen Bazak, Sports Editor

Ending a mostly successful season, the Firehawks suffered a painful 12-2 loss to the archrival YULA Panthers Friday, May 13, at La Cienega Park. The team made it to the playoffs, but had to forfeit their playoff game because of missing players who were on the senior Poland-Israel trip.

It was a sad ending for the typically confident team, which ended the season with a 7-4-1 record as seniors Saul Rothman, Emilio Lari and David Mor played their final games.

“I am very embarrassed at the result of the game,” said sophomore and catcher Sammy Sheff, who felt that the Panthers were more mentally and physically prepared for the game.

Over the past four years, Shalhevet’s baseball team beat YULA twice and lost four times.

This time, the team fell behind early and was down by 10 runs at the end of the fifth inning. Under the league’s “mercy” rule, the game was called at that time, two innings shy of the usual seven.

“I thought it was a really tough game,” said sophomore Jojo Fallas.  “…The team had an off day and I felt it was a really depressing way for the seniors to end their careers.”

In the first inning, Sammy Sheff was injured by a stray foul ball, which left the team with a gaping hole in the middle of the lineup. At the end of the first inning the Panthers had seized a 3-0  lead.

But a comeback was achievable until the Panthers scored seven runs in the top of the fifth.

“The two main reasons why we lost was that we couldn’t practice, because of different field conditions and other extra- curriculars that conflicted with the game and practice schedule,” said sophomore Daniel Schwartz.

However, Athletic Director Coach Ronnie ‘Flava’ Winbush felt that the team was very dedicated to showing up to practices, and is proud of their performance.

“I think the team was very well prepared for the game,” he said. “But I think a few minor errors in their execution hurt them in the long run.”

Games against YULA are usually close and competitive, and about 30 Shalhevet fans came out to watch this time in sunny weather on a Friday afternoon. Among them was Rabbi Ari Segal, incoming head of school, who was visiting from Houston.

“We didn’t have that great of a day,” Coach Cash Levy said. “I feel on a good day we could have beat them.”

Coach Cash has been the baseball coach every year in the past nine year except for last year, when he was busy with a comedy special and couldn’t add coaching into his schedule.

“I felt that we as a team played better this year and we do face a lot of good pitchers in our league,” said  YULA thirdbaseman Daniel Baly. “Saul Rothman just didn’t have his best stuff and we were able to capitalize and get some good pitches to hit and make something happen. Last year I can tell you was a pretty close game and both pitchers did a hell of a job.”

Next year, the team will lose their starting pitcher, Saul Rothman and their starting shortstop, Emilio Lari after the season.  Not only were Rothman and Lari great players, but they were also the captains of the team for two seasons.

However, Flava said that this year’s baseball team had a lot of 1st year players, who got good experience for next year, and he feels confident about the future of the team.