Israel stun hosts in World Baseball Classic opener

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Israel stun hosts in World Baseball Classic opener

Dramatic opening match sees Israelis mark their competition debut with a win over South Korea.

Andrew Sherwood is the Jewish News Sport and Community Editor

Team Israel celebrate their win over South Korea
Team Israel celebrate their win over South Korea

Israel got their 2017 World Baseball Classic campaign off to a winning start on Monday as they beat hosts South Korea 2-1.

Taking part in the tournament for the first time, the match was played out in front of MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. Israel clinched their historic victory with Mike Meyers scoring the winning run at the top of the 10th inning, Josh Zeid pitched three scoreless innings, including striking out Korean Dae-Ho Lee – who hit 14 homers for the Mariners last season.

Ty Kelly, who also plays for the New York Mets, tweeted after the match: “Definitely the most stressful game I’ve ever been a part of. But it was worth it. #teamisrael”

The Israeli squad features 29 players, 11 of whom have MLB experience, though only three are Israeli. They next face Chinese Taipei on Tuesday, before playing their final Pool A match against the Netherlands on Thursday. The top two teams in the group will advance to the second round.

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