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Baseball: Israel Overcomes Italy 11-5 to Reach Gold Medal Game

Team Israel upset tournament host Italy 11-5 in the semifinal game of the European Baseball Championships in Avigliano, Italy. The Israeli side beat the odds as well as a powerful Italian national team managed by iconic Hall of Famer Mike Piazza. The Blue and White responded with its own icon: 41-year-old pitcher Shlomo Lipetz, who has played on Israeli national teams at every level over a period that spans 4 decades. By winning Friday night, September 17, Israel earned its first-ever berth in the European Gold Medal game and will face-off against the heavily favorited squad from the Netherlands on Sunday in Torino.

While its potent offense produced 11 runs, reaching a double-digit score for the third time in five games, the key to Israel’s success was once again its pitching. Shlomo Lipetz, having pitched for Israeli teams since 1989 thought he had earned a bye following his appearance with Israel’s Olympic squad in Tokyo last month.

The Tel Aviv native had planned to sit this tournament out to prepare for his upcoming wedding in NY only a few weeks away. “But Nate (Israel’s newly appointed Manager Fish) called me, and I got on a plane.” (JPost / VFI News)

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