ShlomoL Pitching

Team Israel is heading to the A Pool of the European Championships in Bonn, Germany in early September, on the road to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Finishing in the top 5 in the tournament will take Team Israel straight through to the Olympics qualifiers in Italy.

Let's hear from team member Shlomo Lipetz, who is a true veteran of Israel Baseball.

Age: 40
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 201lb
Position: RHP
Current Team: NY Cubs (Zorilla League)/ The Twins (Metro League)

A brief history
Shlomo Lipetz, VP of Programming at City Winery in New York, lives a double life as a baseball pitcher. Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel, Shlomo is one of Israeli baseball first byproducts and first generation players to come out of Israel. Immediately after his military service he moved the US. After pitching for San Diego Mesa College and US San Diego as their closer, he returned to Israel to pitch for the Netanya Tigers in Israel's first and only professional league (IBL) season in 2007. He led the league with a 0.98 ERA and walked only three. This year will mark Shlomo's 30th year playing for Israel National teams. In 2008 and 2011, he pitched for Team Israel in the European Championship Qualifiers, and in the World Baseball Classic in 2013 and 2017.

Your standout moment as a player for Team Israel
During the 2012 European Baseball Championship qualifiers in 2011, I pitched in 3 of the 5 games. We beat Georgia in the opener, and I pitched 7 innings and striking out 9. During the first game of the home/away finals against Great Britain, I pitched a complete game shutout, giving up 6 hits and 3 walks while striking out five. Later that same day, I started again, pitching an additional 4.1 innings, giving up one earned run on 6 hits, while recording 4 strikeouts. I threw a total of 214 pitches in the doubleheader.

Your baseball mantra
Life always offers you a second chance. It's called tomorrow.

What you are most looking forward to in Germany
Looking forward to seeing just how far we can get with this team

You’re a fan of…
Ice cream...any flavor, but ideally chocolate

Always even…never odd...and if possible, some tie-in to the number 12

Alon Leichman 2017

Team Israel is heading to the A Pool of the European Championships in Bonn, Germany in early September, on the road to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Finishing in the top 5 in the tournament will take Team Israel straight through to the Olympics qualifiers in Italy.

Let's hear from team member Alon Leichman, a product of Israel Baseball and currently a pitching coach for the Seattle Mariners organization.


  • Age: 30
  • Height:1.74cm
  • Weight: 86kg
  • RHP
  • Current Team: Team Israel

A brief history

I grew up playing at Kibbutz Gezer under Lee Siegel. My first Israel national team was at age 10. I played for the Israel Baseball League (now definct) in 2007, with the champions Bet Shemesh. MLB academy in 2008 in Italy, Prague Eagles in 2009-2010. Studied at Cypress college in California in from 2012, then transferred to UC San Diego, graduating in 2016. Played in a Mexican league the fall after college as well as in the Israel Association of Baseball for the Tel Aviv Comrades Premier League team.

Your standout moment as a player for Team Israel

When we played in Israel in the European Championships B Pool in 2011 in front of 3,000 fans. Then watching Shlomo (Lipetz) go14 innings against England on 2 days rest.

Your baseball mantra

Try to take every day on the field as a learning experience.

What you are most looking forward to in Germany

Getting on a bus to Italy.

You’re a fan of…

Traveling and good food




IMG 1040

In a magnificent sweep of the B Pool of the European Championships, Team Israel has moved into the A Pool for the first time in Israel Baseball history. 

Team Israel was looking improve on its second place finish in the B Pool two years ago. The team was bolstered this year by professional American baseball players, who made Aliyah to play on the team towards the bid for the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. Six of them played for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic, where Israel finished in sixth place.

After dominating the first round of the B Pool in Bulgaria in early July with a sweep of six games, Team Israel faced Lithuania in the playoff for a place in the A Pool. Israel continued to dominate, with an opening 12-2 victory in Utena, Lithuania. Standing out for Team Israel was WBC alumnus Joey Wagman, who pitched 6 innings of 1 earned run with 10 strike outs; Eric Brodkowitz, who didn't allow a hit over the last 3 innings; and Rob Paller who went 3 for 5 with 4 RBIs and 2 home runs. Additng to Paller's home runs, Israel hit 6 home runs were Mitch Glasser, Blake Gaillen, Simon Rosenbaum and Jeremy Wolf with one each. 

In Game 2 the following day, Gabe Cramer shut the Lithuanians down, allowing only one hit to give Israel a 15-0 victory after five innings. Israel had 11 hits for 15 runs, and three home runs from Rosenbaum, Wolf and Jake Rosenberg. Israel shut down Lithuania over two games, allowing only 1 earned run in 14 innings of play, while pushing 27 runs across.  Simon Rosenbaum led all hitters with a .571 average and 2 home runs. Wolf and Paller also slugged 2 home runs each and hit .500 over the two games. Dominant pitching by the trio of Cramer, Brodkowitz and Wagman led Israel to their two wins in the playoffs.

Team Israel will now play in the A Pool tournament of the European Championships on September 7-15 in Bonn, Germany, facing teams from Czech Republic, Belgium, Austria, Great Britain and Netherlands in their group. The top five teams out of the total of 12 teams in the tournament will move on to the Olympic Games qualifiers for Europe and Africa to take place in Parma Italy on September 18-22.

“The A Pool is not our goal,” said Peter Kurz, President of the IAB and GM of Team Israel. “Our goal is to reach the Olympic Qualifiers after the A Pool. With our pitching, in a short A Pool series, anything can happen.” Kurz believes that goal is attainable: “Our team represents the best of Israel Baseball, with players who have vast experience both on the professional stage as well as in colleges. Their motivation is at an all-time high to represent Israel on this international stage and to go all the way to Tokyo in 2020.”

Team Israel now faces the task of raising the funds to pay for their September competitions and is actively fundraising for this cause. Please make all donations to the Team Israel Olympic Games crowd sourcing site: 


U18 Win

For the first time, Israel Baseball sent an Under 18 National Team to the European Championships qualifiers in Stockholm, Sweden, and the result was a big win. The victory came only days after the Senior National Team won their pool of the B Pool of the European Championships in Bulgaria.

Israel started the mid-July tournament strong, winning its first two games against Sweden and Switzerland 7-4 and 8-2 respectively. After a solid start against Great Britain on Israel’s third day of competition, where the team scored four runs to Britain’s one in the first inning, the tide turned, and the Brits edged ahead, narrowly defeating Israel by one run for a 7-6 win. The following day, in a high scoring game, Israel once again had victory against Belgium snatched from them after going into the bottom of the last inning four runs up. With a 14-13 win Belgium headed straight for the finals, and with a record of 2 wins and 2 losses, Israel had to wait for the results of the last round robin game to find out if they were to make it to the final game. A 6-2 win for Sweden against Great Britain meant that the three countries were tied at 2-2. Thanks to the strongest run differential of the three, Israel was headed for the finals the next day against Belgium.

With strong defense and some top quality hitting, Team Israel won the all-important championship game 8-5. Israel pulled ahead by three runs in the penultimate inning. The blue and white allowed no runs from the Belgians in the last two innings, in spite of the rain that began falling as Benny Feins come up on the mound to pitch in the bottom of the last inning. A strike out and two ground outs earned Team Israel the victory and a place in next year’s European Championships. 

The tournament best hitter award went to Daniel Laderman, who had a highly impressive .600 batting average, and tournament MVP was Zev Moore. Laderman and Moore tied as the tournament’s top hitters, with nine hits each. Gal Partouche led the tournament in RBIs with nine runs batted in. Moore was the only player in the tournament with two triples, and Ealley Chorev tied for most doubles with three big hits. Ivri Margolin had Israel’s top pitching stat with an ERA of 2.69.

Team Israel Bulgaria 2019

The qualifying rounds for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics began last week in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, with the opening of the European Championship B Pool.   Every player on the team has to be an Israeli citizen. 12 Jewish American baseball players, including 6 players from the Team Israel WBC team, made Aliyah last year and became Israeli citizens. This team is a cocktail blend of native Israeli ballplayers who developed in the IAB program and American professional ball players. 

The other teams - Bulgaria, Greece, Ireland, Serbia and Russia - also had an abundance of American’s on their squads and the games were very well played.  Israel defeated each of them in the first round of action, soundly making its mark as the best team in the tournament.  The finals between Israel and Russia was a nail biter till the last out.  The Team Israel starting pitcher, Joey Wagman, was literally knocked out, as a batted ball hit him squarely on the back, and Israel found itself down 3-2 in the 8th inning.  Simon Rosenbaum tied it up with a home run that inning, and 2 passed balls brought in the winning runs, as Israel held on to win 5-3. 

Blake Gailen was the well-deserved MVP for Team Israel with a .571 batting average, ably helped by Mitch Glasser, Zach Penprase, Rob Paller, and Rosenbaum, as well as pitchers Gabe Cramer, Corey Baker, Matt Soren, and Jonathan DeMarte.  The Israeli-born ballplayers, Tal Erel, Asaf Lowengart, Noam Calisar, Ophir Katz, Shlomo Lipetz, Alon Leichman, and Dan Rothem, all products of the IAB development program, played key roles in all the victories and were the most delirious after the game, having collectively suffered through at least 100 tournaments before reaching this level.

Next, Israel will face Lithuania in the playoffs to see who moves up to Pool A.

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