Shlomo Lipetz

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Shlomo Lipetz

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 4", Weight 210 lb.

Biographical Information[edit]

Shlomo Lipetz has been on the Israeli national team.

Lipetz started playing baseball at age 10. After serving in the Israel Defense Forces, he played at San Diego Mesa College, becoming the second Israeli to play college baseball (after Dan Rothem). While in college, he improved his fastball from 66 mph to 88 mph. Transferring to UC San Diego his junior year, he led the staff in ERA with a 5-0, 2.84 record and three saves; he walked just 3 in 38 innings. In 2005, the senior went 2-4 with 7 saves and a 4.42 ERA as UCSD's closer.

Lipetz stayed in the US, teaching at a Jewish school then working as the music programmer for City Winery in New York. He has continued to play baseball, primarily in semipro leagues in New York against primarily Dominicans and Puerto Ricans. He played for the Netanya Tigers in the 2007 Israel Baseball League, going 3-1 with a save and a team-best 0.98 ERA (no pitcher with 5+ IP had a better ERA in the whole circuit). He struck out 30 and walked 3 while allowing 17 hits in 27 2/3 IP. Among those he outpitched was former minor leaguer Rafael Rojano (6.32).

In the 2008 European Championship Qualifiers, Lipetz led Israel in wins (2-0, 2.63). He allowed three runs in a relief inning against Croatia (which won the pool), tossed a 10-inning, 4-hit complete game to beat Lithuania 2-1 and got another win in relief against Serbia (5 K, 5 H, 2 HBP, 4 R, ER in 2 2/3 IP). He led that qualifier in victories and tied for second in strikeouts (behind Ernesto Pereira).

Back with Israel for the 2011 European Championship Qualifiers, he beat Georgia in the opener with a strong outing (7 IP, 3 H, 1 UER, 0 BB, 9 K). He was the lone Israeli to appear for the Jewish-American "Israeli national team" in the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers (Rothem and Alon Leichman were on the roster but did not play). He struggled in his lone outing; relieving David Kopp with a 7-0 lead in the 9th versus South Africa, he walked Jonathan Phillips and Shannon Ekermans, retired Brett Willemburg and walked Kyle Botha. Jeff Kaplan relieved but let all three inherited runners score (one unearned), giving Lipetz a 54.00 ERA.

Lipetz was excellent in his lone start in the 2014 C-Level European Championship, shutting out host Slovenia (6 H, 1 BB, 10 K) and Israel wound up winning the event. They earned a spot in the 2015 B-Level European Championship, in which the veteran relieved Leichman with a 5-4 deficit in the 9th against Poland and allowed an unearned run but wound up with the win when Israel rallied in the bottom of the 9th. He got the start the next day against host Austria and went the distance with a one-run, five-hit, two-walk, eight-whiff gem. In the finale, with Israel within distance of a European Championship spot for the first time, he relieved Dean Kremer with a 5-3 lead, two on and one out in the 8th against Sweden. He hit Daniel Johnson and got Oscar Holmberg on a run-scoring grounder then retired Victor Croneld to escape further harm. In the 9th, though, he had a terrible time. Joel Johnson tripled, Magnus Pilegård singled, Matt Merrifield walked, Peter Johannessen hit a two-run double to put Sweden ahead and Nicklas Melin hit a two-run double for insurance. Björn Johannessen doubled and it was now 9-5. Lipetz then settled down to retire Daniel Johnson, Holmberg and Tommy Lindell but the damage had been done. Israel nearly came back with three off Jakob Claesson but fell, 9-8, and Lipetz finished the event 2-1, having gotten the majority of the Israeli decisions (Kremer was 1-0, Rothem 0-1).

He was back with Israel for the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, now the lone native Israeli on the team (Kremer was the only other player who even had Israeli citizenship). He did not pitch and Israel wound up with a spot in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.