World Baseball Classic Qualifier 4: Israel clinches spot in main tournament

brooklynA minor leaguers laden Israeli team crushed Great Britain 9-1 in the WBC Qualifier in Brooklyn’s MCU Park last night. For four innings the British could keep Israel at bay, but eventually the Isreali offense proved too strong. Thanks to this win, the team will advance to group B in Korea in next year’s World Baseball Classic, where it will be in the same group with Korea, Chinese Taipei and Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor Great Britain  Great Britain  1  –  9  Israel  Afbeeldingsresultaat

Three homeruns by the Israelis proved to be the difference next the the superb outing of Jason Marquis. Marquis kept the British on a leash as he did not allow a hit and struck out five in four innings.
Two two run bombs in the fifth inning gave Israel a 4-0 lead and the team never looked back. Blake Gailen homered to right field and took Scott Burcham with him. Two batters later Ryan Lavarnway repeated the trick but this time to left field. 
Two one run innings (the sixth and the seventh) and a three run eighth sealed Great Britains fate for good.

All the British could do in return was to score a run in the top of the eighth inning. With two outs, Albert Cartwright singled to right field and advanced to second on a fielding error by Israel’s right fielder Zach Borenstein. Cartwright scored Great Britain’s sole run on a ground ball single to right field, hit by Chavez Young.

Winning pitcher for Israel was Josh Zeid of the Mets organization with a lot of AAA experience under his belt. Zeid pitched three innings of no-hit ball in relief in which he gave up a walk and struck out three.
Spencer Kreisberg took the loss for the British. Kreisberg does not have any minor league experience but played professional in Sweden. In four innings he gave up one run on two hits and three walks and struck out four.

Best hitter for Israel was Scott Burcham, who went 3 for 4 with two runs scored.

As a relative new baseball nation with barely a thousand active players in the country itself, the team only had two players from Israel, the rest were American born players with some ties with the country. Because of a big Jewish community in the US, it was rather easy to create a competitive team.

Four years ago, Israel was eliminated in the championship game by Spain. This time the team was vastly superior, even though the victory over Brazil was a close one. With a 3-0 record the team advances to the main tournament. Don’t be surprised if the team will carry a shipload of Major Leaguers with some Israeli roots.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor World baseball classic