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Israel Beats Korea 2-1 in WBC Opener

Israel Beats Korea 2-1 in WBC Opener

In 2013, a number of Major League players of Jewish descent, including Ian Kinsler and Kevin Youkilis, publicly expressed interest in playing for Israel in the World Baseball Classic.

Zeid gave up one hit, struck out four and threw 49 pitches, one less than the limit of 50 that would have forced him to miss the rest of the first round of Pool A play. Thornton allowed one run on a walk and a hit.

Former Cubs starter Jason Marquis started the game for Israel and held Korea scoreless for three innings, allowing two hits, one walk and striking out three. No wonder bookmaker Bovada has Team Israel listed at 200-1 odds to win the whole thing, the longest shot in the tourney and 100 times as unlikely as 2-1 favorite USA.

With two wins already pocketed, Israel is sitting pretty in Pool A, where it's atop the group with a game in hand on the Netherlands, which defeated South Korea to open its tournament. With so many teams - full of the globe's best players - competing to be best in the world, don't foul out. That's what Israel first baseman Cody Decker says of their mascot, the Mensch on the Bench.

Nonetheless, it's clear why Israel has gotten as far as it has.

Bet against that at your own risk.

Much has been made about the Netherlands' vaunted infield, featuring Bogaerts, the two-time American League Silver Slugger victor at shortstop, and Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who hit 25 homers past year. "Whether or not they are All-Stars, it doesn't really matter". Israel continues its Pool A play on Tuesday (10 p.m. Monday local time) against Chinese Taipei. The third is left fielder Blake Gailen, who played in independent ball in 2016 after spending most of 2015 with the Angels' Double-A team.

Is a first-round exit for Korea all that surprising, though? The top two nations from the round robin play will reach the second round in Tokyo.

Ranked number 38 in the world, Israel's surprising early victories have made it the tournament Cinderella story.

At Sacramento State, Burcham finished with a.278 career batting average, including a.329 average his senior season, where he scored 46 runs, knocked in 33 RBIs and had 80 hits, including nine doubles, six triples and four homers. Yet, Chinese Taipei put their opponent on the edge of their seat by scoring four runs in the final frame of the game.

Those two wins make it very likely that Israel will advance to the second round.



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