Check those World Baseball Classic Standings, because right now, Israel is leading the World in wins.
Israel was back in action just hours after an amazing 2-1 win in 10 innings over the host team, Korea.
Israel would be facing the top two pitchers from Taiwan, but that, and the lack of a full day’s rest, made no difference as the Israeli bats were on fire, leading them to 15 runs on 20 hits.
Chun-Lin Kuo took the hill for for Chinese Taipei. Sam Fuld led off the game for Israel with a single and a double by the Mets’ Ty Kelly made it 2nd & 3rd. Former Brooklyn Cyclone Ike Davis singled, driving them Fuld & Kelly, making it 2-0. Nate Freiman singled to center, Zach Borenstein struck out and Ryan Lavarnway singled, loading the bases for Team Israel.
After a strikeout by Blake Gailen, Tyler Krieger singled to center, scoring Davis & Freiman to make it 4-0 and knock Kuo out of the game. Kuan-Yu Chen came in and struck out Scott Burcham to end the inning, but Israel had a good lead to work with after one.
Israel added another more runs in the 3rd, thanks to a 2-run homer by Ryan Lavarnway.
Just like he did during the Qualifiers in September, Corey Baker started for Israel and was lights out in his 4.2 innings of work.
Chinese Taipei would load the bases in the Bottom of the 6th, knocking out RC Orlan. Mets farmhand Tyler Herron allowed a 2-run double to Chih-Sheng Lin & a sac fly to Yi-Chuan Lin, but Herron got out of the inning with Israel up 6-3.
Israel blew it wide open in the Top of the 7th. Davis led off with a triple and Freiman drove him in. After a pitching change and a line out by Borenstein, Lavarnway was hit by a pitch and Decker singled to load the bases. A single by Krieger drove in one to make it 8-3.
After another pitching change, Burcham, the hero of Monday’s game, drove 3 on the first pitch he saw, giving Israel an 11-3 lead. Israel would leave two men on to end the inning. (Had they scored them, the game would be subject to early termination blowout rules.)
Israel added another in the 8th, as Borenstein doubled and pinch hitter Nick Rickles drove him in.
With two outs in the 9th, Kelly and Mike Meyers drew walks and a homer by Freiman made it 15-3.
Troy Neiman came in to pitch and ran into trouble, making it 2nd & 3rd with one out. Chih-Hao Chang doubled to left, making it 15-5, ending the night for Neiman. Dean Kremer came in and gave up an RBI double to Chih-Hsien Chiang before allowing a double to Choh-Hsiang Lin. Yi-Chuan Lin singled in a run to make it 15-7 and Kremer would retire the next two to give Israel the win in just under four hours of play.
- With this win, Israel has almost entirely secured themselves a spot in the next round.
- Israel has also automatically qualified for the 2021 World Baseball Classic, and will not play in any qualifiers in 2020.