|2016 WHSL Champions - Larchmont Temple|
Larchmont Temple Earns First Championship Since 2009
Written by: Scott D. Simon
Sunday, October 16, 2016
With a 2-0 sweep of Temple Beth El - Chappaqua in the finals, Larchmont completed its return to the pinnacle of the Westchester Hebrew Softball League. The best-of-three championship series typically consists of two games played on the first Sunday, followed by a single game on the second Sunday if the teams split the opening doubleheader. This year, Larchmont and Chappaqua played only one game the first week due to a downpour that intensified as the morning progressed. Larchmont squeaked a run across to walk off in the ninth inning of that first game, 5-4. The second game wasn't close after the second inning, with Larchmont racing to a 6-0 victory.
When the teams resumed with Game Two a week after they finished Game One, Larchmont became the visiting team and jumped out to a lead it would never relinquish. Larchmont's second batter of the game, Eric "E.J." Jacobs, lofted a fly ball to straightaway center field. Chappaqua's left-center fielder reacted just slowly enough that he got his glove on the ball but couldn't hold on. The four-base error gave Larchmont its first run.
After Chappaqua went down quickly in their half of the first, Larchmont put the game out of reach in the second. Justin "Juice" Lacava hit a three-run no-doubt home run over the left fielder that would have rolled a lot farther had Flowers Park in New Rochelle not been fenced in. The 4-0 score did not change until the eighth inning. After Greg Steinberg and Sam Karson reached, the outfielders knew they had to play deep for Jacobs. This time, however, Jacobs hit a sinking line drive to center. This ball, too, was just out of reach of Chappaqua's left-center fielder, sneaking under his glove and rolling behind him for a triple.
It was a tough game for Chappaqua's ace, Lenny Meshberg, who -- as always -- bordered on the unhittable. Lenny struck out three Larchmont hitters and nearly pitched his team to its first title. For Larchmont pitcher Steinberg, it was impressive enough that he led his team to the championship in his first year as a WHSL pitcher. To do so with a three-hit shutout in the deciding game was icing on the cake.
This year's final was the first since 2009 in which neither B'nai B'rith nor Westchester Jewish Center made an appearance. Just as in 2009, Larchmont clinched the title with a six-run victory.
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