“Britain can never control Israel” might be a good way to sum up last night’s win for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic Qualifier, as they topped Great Britiain 9-1 and went 3-0 in the qualifier to move on to the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Following a moment of silence for the tragic death of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, Jason Marquis took the mound for Israel once again and threw 4 perfect innings with 5 strikeouts before exiting the game for reliever Josh Zeid, the New York Mets farmhand.
Israel would finally get on the scoreboard in the Bottom of the 5th. Scott Burcham led off with a single to center, which knocked starter Ali Knowles out of the game. Blake Gailen smacked a homer into the right field bleachers, giving Israel a 2-0 lead and getting the Israeli fans going. Zach Borenstein walked, knocking Knowles out of the game for Rei Martinez. Ryan Lavarnway came out and clobbered a 2-run homer to the right of the scoreboard to make it 4-0, as the Israeli fans were going crazy.
Israel would get another run in the Bottom of the 6th off reliever Nolan Bond, as Burcham hit a 1-out single to third and scored two batters later on a triple by Borenstein.
Zeid continued the good pitching, even catching a screaming line drive back to him. With 6.1 perfect innings in the book, Jasrado Chisholm drew a 4 pitch walk. Mets farmhand Champ Stuart was called out on strikes and did not take to it well. He was ejected from the game by home plate umpire Alberto Ruiz and Great Britain Manager Liam Carroll was soon to follow. Zeid got Todd Isaacs to ground out, preserving the no-hitter.
Cody Decker, known for bringing his Mensch on a Bench into the dugout, smacked a homer to left to make it 6-0 Israel.
Jeremy Bleich came in to pitch the Top of the 8th for Israel. After getting the first two men out, Albert Cartwright broke up the no-hitter with a single to right and took 2nd on an error. Chavez Young singled to right, scoring Cartwright and Young took 2nd on the throw. Kyle Simmons drew a walk and that would be it for Bleich. Craig Breslow was summoned in to pitch and got Antoan Richardson to ground out.
Greg Hendrix came in to pitch for Great Britain in the Bottom of the 8th and had no luck. Gailen drew a 1-out walk and a single by Borenstein moved Gailen to 2nd. Lavarnway singled to center, scoring Gailen and with an error it with was 2nd & 3rd. Paul Kirkpatrick came in to pitch and got Nate Freiman to pop out. Charlie Cutler doubled to right, clearing the bases to make it 9-1. Decker grounded out to end the inning.
To the Top of the 9th it went and Dean Kremer was summoned in to close it out in front of loud Israeli fan base. After getting Jasrado Chisholm to pop out, he issued two straight hits to Reshard Munroe and Todd Isaacs. Kremer got Jordan Serena to watch strike three fly past him before getting Chris Berset to ground out to second, securing a 9-1 win and sending the Team Israel players and fans intro a frenzy.
Israel will play in the World Baseball Classic next March in Seoul, South Korea. They will be in Pool B against Chinese Taipei, Korea & the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
With the World Baseball Classic Qualifier over, I want to thank everyone for visiting the site this season. I also wanna thank Howie Kaplan for filling in as photographer during the WBC.
I’m gonna take a little break from this site, but stayed tuned, as I will be posting a ton of ways the team can improve on MCU Park and Season Ticket Holder Perks.
I also want to thank everyone who took the time and wished me a Happy 25th Birthday at MCU Park today. Big shout out to the Cyclones staff for having King Henry do the “Happy Birthday” bit on the field. And I want to thank Team Israel, as today’s win made today the greatest birthday ever!