South Korea under pressure to deliver at World Baseball Classic, admits coach

So he's going to be eligible to pitch against the Netherlands on Wednesday.

After being lampooned as the "Jamaican Bobsled Team of the World Baseball Classic", team Israel swept to its second win in 24 hours today with a rout of the heavily favored Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) team by a score of 15-7. "Still can't catch my breath", tweeted Zeid, who thew three innings of scoreless relief for the victory.

Israel got out of the box fast with four runs in the first inning and never let the foot off the pedal, picking up 20 hits in the game and winning 15-7.

What he is, is a five-foot-tall stuffed toy that Decker bought before the WBC qualifier in September (from this website), and now he's really part of the team, sitting on the bench during every game. Former big leaguers Ryan Lavarnway and Nate Freiman went deep for Israel, with Lavarnway's two-run blast in the third pushing his team's lead to 6-0 and Freiman's three-run shot in the ninth putting the kibosh on the game.

Scott Burcham's go-ahead single in the 10th inning put Israel ahead to stay against Korea.

The World Baseball Classic 2017 is already on with Israel finishing with a historic victory over South Korea.

As tensions mounted in the 10th, Burcham beat out an infield single to second baseman Seo, allowing Israel to go in front and leave South Korea staring at defeat. Israel continues its Pool A play on Tuesday (10 p.m. Monday local time) against Chinese Taipei.

Israel had many opportunities with the bases loaded to score runs, but everytime they came up empty as they left 14 runners on base. On top of all that, manager Jerry Weinstein holds a masters degree in physical education from UCLA. But Marquis was pulled before reaching the pitch limits that would prevent him from pitching again in this pool. Should Japan and Cuba both advance, they'll find themselves in a second-round pool with Israel and the Netherlands-an unusual foursome, for sure, but one that should offer plenty of intrigue and a chance for upsets.

With the best bats in the business and national pride on the line, the World Baseball Classic is an exciting preview of not just the upcoming MLB season but the All-Star Game, too, which will also take place at Marlins Park, this July.

"I think the key to the WBC's success is to have the best possible rosters we can have", Manfred said.

  • Ernesto Newman