In Cinderella Story, Goofy Goobers head to Championship
FM Home Loans Israel Softball League
By Monty Wayland
After a wild playoff weekend, the eighth-seeded Goofy Goobers advanced to the championship, where they will face the top remaining seed, Rebbishe Vikings. The Goobers stunned the world with a quarterfinals upset victory over top seed Yeshiva League Pass. Then, in the semis, they proceeded to upend Big Red, the second-best team remaining, to earn a trip to the Championship.
The Goobers entered the playoffs as the bleakest of dark horses, and with the lowest playoff seed came the steepest of challenges: facing the Yeshiva League Pass juggernaut.
Undaunted - and perhaps feeling the giddy reliefe of having “nothing to lose” - the Goobers entered the game in high spirits, and strung together hit after hit. With home runs from Eliyahu Ben Ze'ev and Eliahu Kabillio the Goobers, against all odds, built a 9-2 early lead.
Then came the real challenge: facing down the offensive onslaught of YLP’s murderers’ row lineup.
Sure enough, YLP came back with a vengeance, scoring in evey inning the rest of the way. The favorites finally tied the game at 12 apiece, heading into the penultimate frame.
That’s when the Goobers came up with one last offensive push,a five-run outburst in the top half of the inning. Then, in the bottom half, the Goobers utilized an unconventional four-man outfield defensive shift, to limit the damage from the dangerous YLP sluggers. YLP continued their attack, but when the smoke had cleared from the shootout, the Goobers were left standing, with a 17-15 victory.
Pitcher Zev Bergman earned the win on the mound, and sent the Goobers to the semifinals.
The Goofy Goobers’ opponent in the semis was Big Red, themselves winners in a first-round upset, if a far less shocking one, over SushiFuze. The game was another slugfest, with both teams piling up runs early, before Big Red pulled away, outscoring SushiFuze 13-7 down the stretch, for a 26-16 victory.
In the semis, Goobers’ pitcher Zev Bergman tested his own endurance, returning to the mound for another playoff game, and holding the opposition scoreless for more than half the contest, in front of impecable team defense. Meanwhile sluggers Meir Cavelier, Moshe Scharf and Yoni Steinman led the Goobers’ attack, and the Goobers soon found themselves with an 8-1 lead, just two innings away from the championship. Big Red make a frantic rally, but it fell just short, as the Goobers tacked on an insurance run, for a 9-7 final score, and a ticket to the Championship.
On the other side of the bracket, the Rebbishe Vikings put on a defensive clinic, making their offensive pyrotechnics as unneccesary as they were explosive.
The Vikings, presented by The Capital Stack Advisors, finished the regular season tied for first place, and on a tie-breaker earned the number two seed.
In their first-round game, the Vikings faced the Chofetz Chayim Chassidim - a team whom they’d just narrowly defeated by one run, the previous weekend. This time around, things were not quite as close. The Vikings went on a 23-run scoring rampage, and retained such control on defense that they only allowed three runs in the top of the last, when the outcome was far from in doubt. Yehuda Pifco, Tzvi Wexler, Aaron Nat, and Ari Schuman all homered for the Rebbishe Vikings, and Dovi Olshen pitched a masterpiece.
The Vikings didn’t slow down in the semifinals, racing out to a 13-0 lead in the first against Mini Binny’s, en route to am overwhelming 31-5 victory, to advance to the title game.
In the Harvey’s Smokehouse Division, Shudoggs took home a 6-2 victory over Team Tzvi Brecher on Friday.
Shudoggs got things moving in the first inning, when Moshe Kurtzer's sac fly scored one run for Shudoggs.
Yosef Shallom led the Shudoggs to victory on the pitcher's mound. The righthander went seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits, striking out ten and walking one.
Shudoggs launched two home runs on the day. Sruly Snyder went deep in the sixth inning, while Kurtzer had a tound-tripper in the seventh. Shudoggs racked up 12 hits, as Yehuda Deutsch, Kurtzer, Snyder, and Yan Kaufman all managed multi-hit days, with Kurtzer and Deutsch collecting three apiece. On defense, the Shudoggs didn't commit a single error in the field - Kaufman anchored the defense, perfect on ten chances.