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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Jason Marquis started two games for Team Israel. (Credit: Howard Kaplan)

During Hatikvah, the Israeli coaches and players donned Team Israel kippahs. (Credit: Howard Kaplan)

On Thursday night, Israel took the field at Brooklyn’s MCU Park, against Great Britain in front of almost 4,000 fans. Former MLB Star Jason Marquis took the hill for Israel. In the top of the 2nd, he gave up a hit to Champ Stuart of the New York Mets., Todd Isaacs singled two batters later to make it 1-0.

Britain’s lead was short-lived, as Cody Decker led off with a double. Josh Satin, a former Met, grounded out, moving Decker to 3rd. Rhett Wiseman hit the ball to 1B Jordan Serena who fired home, but not quick enough, scoring Decker.

With Josh Zeid of the Mets pitching, Stuart led off the 7th with a double and took 3rd on a wild pitch. Isaacs hit a sacrifice fly two batters later to score Stuart to make it 2-1.

Israel came back and blew it open in the 7th, as Wiseman led off with a single. A double by Scott Burcham moved Wiseman to 3rd. Mike Meyers hit a sac fly, scoring Wiseman. Zach Borenstein singled, scoring Burcham. Israel loaded the bases for former Met Ike Davis, who singled in Borenstein. Cody Decker hit a sac fly to right, scoring Lavarnway to make it 5-2.

Brad Goldberg came in and got the save for Israel to give them a win on Thursday night.

Friday’s noontime game against Brazil was a baseball purist’s dream, as good pitching held both teams to just 3 hits apiece.

Israel got their lone run in the 4th. Nate Freiman led off with a double and Davis reached on an error. Cody Decker hit a fly ball to center to score Freiman and give Israel a 1-0 lead. The bullpen kept Brazil scoreless and gave Israel an automatic entry into the Championship game.

Israel once again faced Great Britain on Sunday night. Marquis got the start one again and threw 4 perfect innings.

Burcham led off the 5th with a hit and Blake Gailen smacked a two-run homer to put Israel ahead. Borenstein walked and Ryan Lavarnway smacked a 2-run shot over the LF wall, making it 4-0.

Israel would score again in the 6th, as Burcham singled and scored two batters later on a triple by Borenstein. Decker homered in the 7th to make it 6-0.

Israel took a no-hitter into the 8th. With 2 outs, Albert Cartwright singled to right and took 2nd on an error. Chavez Young singled, scoring Cartwright to make it 6-1.

Israel added three more runs in the 8th, as Gailen drew a walk and Borenstein singled. Lavarnway singled in Gailen. Two batters later, Charlie Cutler doubled making it 9-1.

Dean Kremer came in and closed the game, giving Israel the win and the final spot in the World Baseball Classic. They will play next March in Seoul, South Korea in Pool B against Chinese Taipei, Korea and the Netherlands.

By Daniel Weiss