You can call it a Purim miracle.. Israel entered the tournament as the lowest-ranked and last team to qualify at 41st in the world. Slowly but surely the Israelis inched their way up as they beat third-ranked South Korea, then fourth-ranked Taiwan and ninth-ranked Netherlands to finish with a 3-0 record.
Israeli right fielder Zach Borenstein hits a one-run single at the top of the sixth inning for the game winner against Cuba at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo (Youtube Josh Borenstein)
Now Israel continues its shocking run at the World Baseball Classic on Purim, beating top rated Cuba 4-1 in its first game of the second round to improve to 4-0 in the tournament in Tokyo Stadium.
Israeli right fielder Zach Borenstein hits a one-run single at the top of the sixth inning for the game winner against Cuba at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo (AFP PHOTO / TORU YAMANAKA)
While critics are saying that the team are not Israelis, all the members on Team are Jews. By World Baseball Classic rules, a player may compete for a country if he is eligible for citizenship under its laws. And since Israel extends automatic citizenship to Jews they qualify for the team, and isn’t the Jewish State one big melting pot of Jews?
GAME RECAP & HIGHLIGHTS:
Cuba was up 1-0 with a solo home run in the second inning but Israel tied the game in the fourth on a double by Ryan Lavarnway, who ended up being MVP of the game.
Israel took a 2-1 lead in the sixth when Zach Borenstein singled which took Ty Kelly from second base to run to home base. Blake Gailen then made it 3-1 with a two-out double to right that scored Nate Freiman.
Israel added anotther run in the eighth on a sacrifice bunt by Blake Gailen that scored Borenstein from third.
Josh Zeid pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth when he got Willian Saavedra to ground out to third with two out.