June 7, 2024
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SAR Sting Wins Columbus Baseball Invitational

(SAR sports) The SAR Sting varsity baseball team won its first ever Columbus Baseball Invitational, aka the Jewish World Series. SAR won the coveted Bob Lane Memorial Trophy in dominant fashion on May 21st. The 2024 CBI, which started years ago in order to unite Jewish schools from around the country through baseball, was the largest it’s ever been, with a record high 16 teams vying for the shot at the championship. The format this year was different from previous years where the first game was usually a seeding game. This year every team started in the Tier 1 championship bracket. The winning team stayed in the Tier 1 championship bracket and the losing team moved to a Tier 2, Tier 3 or Tier 4. Going into the tournament the Sting were one of the two #1 seeds at the tournament.

At the opening game on Sunday playing against Fuchs Mizrachi school from Cleveland, Ohio, the Sting got off to a great start and never looked back, as standout sophomore Jonah Blechner led the way with three RBIs as SAR won the game 12-1. Junior Moe Jetter pitched four great innings, followed by Levi Sopher to finish the game.

SAR then moved on to the quarterfinals where they faced one of the new additions to the tournament, Atlanta Jewish Academy. The game was very tight at first, but SAR managed to give themselves a comfortable lead, with another four RBIs from Blechner. On the mound, sophomore Avery Simon pitched six innings and struck out 10, leading to a win for the Sting by a score of 15-5.

After a quick lunch break, the Sting were thrown into their second game of the day against #2 seeded Ida Crown Aces of Chicago in the semifinals. This was the Sting’s toughest test of the tournament. Ida Crown jumped out to a 3-0 lead early, on some infield singles and shaky defense by SAR. As they have been doing all year, the Sting fought back, scoring three in the bottom of the third to tie the game. In the bottom of the fourth, SAR scored two runs to take a 5-3 lead. After trading runs in the fifth, Ida Crown loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the sixth. After scoring a run on an error, the Aces cut the lead to 6-5. A fly ball to left could have tied the game, but Jonah Blechner came up big and threw the player out at home. The Aces ended up scoring the tying run on an infield single. Sophomore Jackson Feit pitched six innings for the Sting, allowing one earned run. His efforts were followed up by those of junior Sammy Eis, who in relief of Feit shut down the Ida Crown bats for an inning, keeping the game tied 6-6 going into the bottom of the seventh inning. In the bottom of the seventh, with one out, Max Schenker worked a walk, and then tagged on a fly ball to right field. That turned out to be a huge tag up, as junior Levi Sopher sent the Sting to the championship game by lacing a walk-off RBI single to right field and giving SAR the 7-6 win.

As SAR waited for the championship game on Tuesday, the team hung out at the hotel and participated in activities which were run by the CBI organizers.

SAR was prepared to face the Frisch Cougars, their Yeshiva League rivals, in the championship. “We knew going into the tournament that we wanted to take care of business,” said senior Harrison Brooks, one of the team’s captains. “During the championship game, the whole team was locked in, from the guys out on the field to the guys in the dugout. We all really wanted to win it for each other.”

To start the game, the Sting sent out Sammy Eis, who pitched brilliantly, only surrendering one earned run while striking out five in five innings. SAR got off to an early lead, scoring 4 runs in the first inning with a two-out, bases-clearing double by Avery Simon, followed by an RBI single by Jonah Nayowitz. In the second, Simon struck again with a two-out, bases-clearing triple. Simon finished the day with seven RBIs on three hits. The Sting never took their foot off the gas pedal, and they powered themselves to a 13-3 victory by mercy rule.

Coach Adam Eis recognized the dominance of his team. “As coaches, when we put this team together, this is exactly what we envisioned. Our pitching was dominant, our defense was very good, we made clutch plays when needed, and our offense exploded.”

Simon said, “It was great to meet a bunch of kids from around the country, especially doing the thing I love most, which is playing baseball. I am very honored to have received the MVP award and I am looking forward to next year’s tournament.”

“I am so proud of our team,” reflected Coach Eis. “We knew going in we had a great chance to bring the Bob Lane memorial trophy to SAR. We went in with a game plan and it worked out exactly like we planned.”

Overall, the tournament was a smashing success for the Sting. They got to hang out with Jewish High School baseball players from across the country, spend time in the beautiful city of Columbus, and return to school with a championship.

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