Guest posted by Air Time
The atmosphere around the game was great. Before Israel took the field against Czech, they played national anthems, and introduced the players and each team waved their flag around.
But the Czech team was loose and ready to go; we were tight and nervous and played like it. It didn't help that Czech's pitcher was 5"6' and considered to be the top 12 year old pitcher in all of Europe. Look for him on ESPN later this summer during the Little League World Series. His name is Lukas (I have his last name somewhere but can't find it right now.
We scored two runs against him in the first game of the tournament, on the way to a 10-1 win, but the Finals was his game. He was sharp and unhittable, with a devastating change up and fastball that was pure smoke.
Combine his pitching performance with poor pitching on our side, dismal fielding, and players not doing their jobs, and we had all the ingredients for a 10-0 loss.
Still, no Israel team had ever played in a Juvenile tournament's championship game. Our second place finish was fantastic, and our six game winning streak during the two tournaments set a new standard for Israeli youth baseball.
In the end I was proud of our kids. Throughout the tournaments we participated in, they played hard, represented themselves, and most importantly, represented Israel well. During the last game, kids from other teams were chanting Pro Israel chants, and were disappointed when we couldn't get the win.
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד