There was no clear-cut favorite for the A Division champion this season. Temple Emanu-El had the best record but Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel scored the most runs while giving up the fewest.
Based on last year’s records, Temple Emanu-El was the Number One seed and Sharey Tefilo-Israel was in the second slot, and it stayed that way going into the playoffs.
Jason Grebin started the scoring for TSTI with a two-out, two-run homer in the top of the first. But the “E-Men” matched that with two runs and could have had more if not for some excellent defensive plays by centerfielder Larry Feigenbaum on deep fly balls.
Jeff Becker added another two-run homer for TSTI in the top of the second but Emanu-El scored three in the bottom of the inning to take the lead. After David Kramer scored for TSTI in the top of the third, Emanu-El responded with three in the bottom of the frame for an 8-5 advantage.
It was the fourth inning when TSTI displayed the explosive offense that led the league this season with an eight run outburst. Then their league-leading defense took, allowing their opponents only two more runs for a final score of 14-10.
The B division final also had no clear favorite. AABJ&D and Beth Shalom had split during the season and had similar records. But AABJ&D had entered the season as the top B team and they were still there as the home team in the final game. Beth Shalom had last won the B division title in 2005. AABJ&D had been in three finals but had not won since joining the league 10 years ago.
Beth Shalom started quick but some nifty defensive plays limited their first inning scoring to three runs. With the score tied 4-4 at the end of two, Beth Shalom put together six consecutive hits for three runs, but in the bottom of the inning, AABJD blew the game open with 11 hits in a row, scoring 10 runs highlighted by Jeff Falkenstein’s three-run homer and Doug Eisenberg’s three-run triple.
Trailing 16-8 in the fifth, Beth Shalom exploded for six runs to narrow the gap to two. They held AABJD in the fifth and sixth and had two runners in scoring position with no outs but managed just one run following a sterling defensive play by shortstop Rafi Abromowitz, giving AABJD the 16-15 win and their first title.