Israel Opens World Baseball Classic With Nail-Biting 2-1 Extra-Inning Victory Over Korea in Seoul
Israel opened the 2017 World Baseball Classic on Monday with nail-biting 2-1 extra-inning victory over Korea at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul.
Mike Meyers scored what would prove to be the winning run on an infield single by Scott Burcham in the top of the tenth inning.
Former Major League All-Star pitcher Jason Marquis started the game on the mound for Israel and went three innings. Four other pitchers contributed an inning each before Josh Zeid came in and closed out the game with three scoreless frames, earning the win.
Afterward, Zeid tweeted, “What an absolutely incredible game. Still can’t catch my breath.”
— Josh Zeid (@Josh_Zeid14) March 6, 2017
In an interview with The Algemeiner in January, Zeid — who played in the Major Leagues for the Houston Astros in 2013 and 2014 — said the team was setting its sights high for the quadrennial tournament.
“Our goal is to win all our games,” Zeid said. “We hope Israelis notice the effort we’re giving and that they’re proud of us.”
Israel’s next game will be against Chinese Taipei tonight in Seoul at 10 p.m. US Eastern time (12 p.m. Tuesday Korea time).
If it finishes first or second in Pool A (one of the World Baseball Classic’s four four-team groupings), Israel will advance to the second round of the tournament in Tokyo — scheduled for March 11-16. The championship round will take place in Los Angeles on March 20-22.
World Baseball Classic rules allow players to compete for any countries in which they qualify for citizenship. This enables Israel to draw on the talent of non-native Jewish athletes who are eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return.