April 13, 2024
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Going into the World Baseball Classic, many pundits predicted that Team Israel would not win a single game in the tournament. Therefore, many of the Team Israel players tweeted the hashtag #ShockTheWorld. And that is exactly what they did.

The tournament opened on Monday at 6:30 PM in Korea, 4:30 AM in New Jersey. Israel scored in the Top of the 2nd on a bases loaded walk to Tyler Krieger to go up 1-0. Jason Marquis continued to be the ace of Team Israel, throwing 3 shutout innings. Reliever Jeremy Bleich would give up a run in the 5th to allow Korea to tie it.

Israel would load the bases in both the 7th & 8th, but failed to score a run in either inning. Ike Davis drew a one-out walk in the 10th, and went to 3rd on a single by Ryan Lavarnway. Mike Meyers ran for Davis, and scored on a hit by Scott Burcham to give Israel a 2-1 lead. Jose Zeid of the Mets closed the door on Team Israel, giving them a huge win over Korea.

Israel was back in action the following afternoon in Korea. Israel would take an early 6-0 lead after 3 innings. Korea would get 3 in the Bottom of the 6th, but Israel put up 5 runs in the 7th, en route to a 15-7 win over Chinese Taipei. Nate Freiman led the way for Israel with 3 hits, a homer and 4 RBIs.

With that win, Israel not only clinched a spot for the Second Round in Tokyo, but they also requalified for the 2021 WBC. Israel’s game against Netherlands was only for seeding in the next round. However, Israel jumped out to a 3-0 lead after an inning. Netherlands added a run in Top of the 3rd, but Israel got that run back 6th. Netherlands would make it as close as 4-2, but Zeid closed it out for Israel, giving them 3 wins and a perfect record entering the 2nd Round. 

Peter Kurz, President of the Israel Baseball Association was so proud of how Team Israel played, before adding how interesting it would be to celebrate Purim with his players overseas.

Pool E will take place from March 12-16 in Tokyo, Japan.

By Daniel Weiss

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