Surprising Israel's World Baseball Classic run ends with loss to Japan


The Israeli team, made up nearly entirely of American minor-league players and former major leaguers, lost 8-3 to host Japan this morning and will not advance to the semifinals in Los Angeles.

Team Israel came up short, and their 8-3 loss to Japan eliminated them from the World Baseball Classic.

For five innings, Israel kept Japan at bay, with the score remaining tied at 0-0.

The Netherlands, who were knocked out in the semis in the last WBC tournament in 2013, benefited from another fine pitching performance from left-hander Diegomar Markwell.

Two-time champion Japan improved to 2-0 in Pool E and can advance to the March 20-22 championship round in Los Angeles with a win over Israel (1-1) on Wednesday.

After laying waste to Israel, the Netherlands high octane offense stayed hot, putting up 14 runs in route to an easy win over Cuba.

Israel surprised many by winning its first four games of the tournament but was overpowered by the Netherlands, which lost 8-6 in 11 innings to Japan on Sunday. The Netherlands had lost its first game in this round-in extra innings to Japan-and could not afford to lose again. Entering the fourth inning, it seemed that the Netherlands already had enough runs, but they felt like adding more. But the loss Monday, March 13, did not halt Israel's dreams of global baseball glory.

"I wasn't pleased with my batting in the first four games, " Yamada said. He doubled in a run in the third when the Netherlands scored four to take a 6-0 lead. Colombia and Australia, two of the other three teams who had to win entry via a qualifying tournament, also managed this feat, but did so with 1-2 records in round one whereas Israel managed to advance and win a second round game before their exit.

The game was scoreless until the sixth inning, when Japan put a five-spot on the board.

Meanwhile, Japan went 3-0 in first round play and repeated that record in round two, earning them a spot in the semi-finals.

Action is due to continue today where the United States will take on Venezuela in the second match of Group F at the Petco Park in California.