Ra'anana topped Bud's Boys Modi'in 9-6 in the opening game of the fall season of the Israel Baseball Association's Premier League on Sunday.
Leadoff man Albert Levy started the scoring for Modiin in the 1st inning after reaching first on a walk, stealing second, advancing to third on a passed ball and scampering home on an RBI groundout by Sammy Tover. Ra'anana quickly countered with 4 runs in the bottom of the first, also taking advantage of several walks and passed balls. Hadar Sugarman contributed a key hit for Ra'anana in his Premier League debut.
Modi'in added another unearned run in the second to close the gap to 4-2 and scored a third run in the 3rd inning when Tover lined a double down the left-field line, driving in Noam Markose. Ra'anana's Orr Gottlieb relieved starter John Braxton in the 4th and shut down Modi'in for the next three innings, striking out 6 and allowing only an infield hit to Pasha Ryabtsev.
Ra'anana increased its lead to 7-3 in the bottom of the third, with Yaniv Rosenfeld's booming triple to left-center driving in two runs. By the top of the last inning, Ra'anana enjoyed a 9-3 lead, but Modi'in battled back to score 3 runs in the bottom of the inning. Player-coach Josh Weiss, pitching in relief, was able to end the Modi'in comeback bid by getting Binyamin Mor to ground out with the bases loaded.
Defensive highlights of the game included long runs for popups by catchers Yoav Halper (Ra'anana) and Markose (Modi'in), and a perfect cutoff relay from Pasha Ryabtsev to his brother Dima to nail a Ra'anana runner at the plate.