by Akiva Richman (’19)

Also known as the Jewish World Series, the Columbus Baseball Invitational is a three day baseball tournament that hosts 12 Jewish high school baseball teams from around the country. The MTA Baseball Lions met at Laguardia Airport at 8:00 AM Sunday morning and landed in Columbus at about 10:30 AM. After checking in at the Capital University dorms, where all the teams slept, the Lions had batting practice in preparation for their first game. Their first game was the Sunday night game against the Kushner Cobras, which had added importance as it also counted as a league game. The Lions came out swinging, scoring 5 runs in the first inning led by big hits from Sam Weisman (’18), Daniel Landa (’19), and Eli Gruenburg (’17). The Lions didn’t stop there as they scored a run in each of the next 3 innings and the 3 runs in the fifth to mercy Kushner 11-0. The big win was made possible by Daniel Landa’s (’19) incredible pitching performance, overpowering the Kushner lineup for 4 innings while Zachary Gurwitz (’18) closed out the game to complete the combined no-hitter. Game 2 for the Lions was Monday morning against the Ida Crown Aces. Having been blown out by Ida Crown last year, the Lions were looking for revenge. Coby Sorotzkin (’19) helped give the Lions that chance by pitching the full 7 innings, holding Ida Crown to just 3 runs. Although the Lions got runners on base in almost every inning, including a big chance with the bases loaded, the Lions couldn’t push a run across. In what was an incredible and hard fought game, the Lions lost 3-0. With their 1-1 record the Lions moved on to the Silver Bracket where they squared off against TABC. Overcome by some injuries, the Lions lost that game too, but look forward to their rematch against TABC this Tuesday night. The Lions then took on the Fuchs Mizrachi Mayhem of Cleveland on Tuesday morning to close out the tournament. Eitan Warburg (’19) and Akiva Richman (’19) stepped up to the mound to pitch for MTA, while big hits from Gabe Isaacs (’18), Daniel Landa (’19), and Eli Gruenburg (’17) helped MTA beat Mizrachi by a score of 12-4.

In addition to playing baseball, the Lions enjoyed the rest of the CBI Tournament experience. The team got to watch other teams play, and to hang out with other players. Yet the highlight off the field was getting to meet Al Clark, a retired major league umpire. Al Clark was an MLB umpire for 26 years, including at many famous games, such as Randy Johnson’s first no-hitter, Nolan Ryan’s 300th win, and the game in which Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig’s record for most consecutive games played. He also oversaw two World Series, in 1983 and 1989. The team members had the chance to talk with him, ask him any questions they had, and learn from him about umpires and baseball in general. They even got to see his World Series Umpires Ring from the “Earthquake” World Series in 1989. After watching the final championship game, the Lions had free time until their 7:30 flight back to New York. They spent time with other players, played some whiffle ball, and enjoyed a well deserved trip to the ice cream store near the campus. Our thanks to all who put this great event together.


Comments are closed.