JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Talk about consistency.

Florida International University sophomore Garrett Wittels has played in 42 games this season, and he’s had a base hit in every one. The 42-game streak is tied for 4th-highest in Division I history and has earned Wittels a bushel of media attention recently, including a Miami Herald profile (in which father Michael Wittels comes out sounding a bit like The Great Santini), and an interview on ESPN 2.

On Friday (5/14/2010), Wittels will have a chance to extend his streak when FIU begins a playoff series against the University of South Alabama. The Division I mark of 58 games was set in 1987 by Robin Ventura, who went on to play for the Chicago White Sox and three other teams over a 15-year pro career.

Wittels, a 20-year-old infielder from Bay Harbor Island, Fla., has rung up some other impressive statistics this season, including a .412 batting average (#1 on the team), .468 on-base average (#1), .537 slugging percentage (#3), 46 RBIs (#2), 12 doubles (tied for #2), and only 16 strikeouts, the fewest of any starter.

Wittels isn’t the only Jewish player making a difference on the Golden Panthers this season. The team’s closer, senior Eric Berkowitz, has six saves, 44 strikeouts and only 17 walks in 47 innings pitched, good enough to earn his own profile in the Miami Herald. As the Herald points out, Berkowitz is tiny for a pitcher (5’8″, 155 lbs.) but can deliver a fastball over 90 mph.

Friday’s game begins at 7:00pm EST.

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