The Israeli national team returns home from the European Baseball Championship in the Czech Republic in sixth place after falling 5-1 in its last game against the host team.
Coach Nate Fish's squad finished the tournament with a 3-3 record. They finished the group stage in second place in Group D after recording wins over Switzerland and Belgium and a narrow loss versus Germany. A tough 12-2 loss to the defending champion Netherlands in the quarterfinals sent the boys in blue-and-white to the consolation games where they then beat Sweden and lost the Czechs.
Several players making their national team debuts shines for Israel at the tournament. Centerfielder Yoni Zeevi led the team with a .444 batting average and 3 steals, first baseman/DH Brett Holtz was best in slugging (.538), one-base percentage (.579) and OPS (1.117) and shortstop Benjamin Rosengard scored a team-high 9 runs. Olympian Rob Paller drove in a team-high 7 RBI.
Bubby Rossman was Israeli's top pitcher at the tournament. He did not allow any runs in 4 innings pitched and struck out 7, which tied Alex Katz for the team lead. Justin Altinoff led the team with 9.1 innings pitched, during which he allowed 5 runs, but only 3 earned runs. The ageless Shlomo Lipetz pitched 8 innings over three appearances.
In addition to Zeevi, Holtz and Rosengard, eight other players made their senior national team debuts at the tournament. They are Altinoff, Aviv Bobrov, Blake Dickman, Benny Feins, Nadav Machlin, Zev Moore, Uri Shani and Itai Spinoza.