Monday, 23 October, 2017

Mensch on a Bench roots Team Israel to World Baseball Classic win

Korea's Seung Hwan Oh pitches to Israel's Scott Burcham during the opening game of the World Baseball Classic Korea's Seung Hwan Oh pitches to Israel's Scott Burcham during the opening game of the World Baseball Classic
Felix Bryan | 08 March, 2017, 00:31

Chinese Taipei and Netherlands meet Wednesday morning in the WBC at the Gocheok Sky Dome.

Meet the Mensch on the Bench!

Israel on Tuesday beat Taipei 15-7 in Seoul, South Korea, in its second win in as many days, to keep its first place in Pool A and virtually guarantee its path to the second round pool in Tokyo. "Still can't catch my breath", tweeted Zeid, who thew three innings of scoreless relief for the victory. Israel then came out the next afternoon (local time) and whooped Chinese Taipei, 15-7, jumping out to a 2-0 record before any other team had even played a second game.

The tournament is a shared venture of Major League Baseball and the Players Association, predicated upon the sport's global scope.

Israel scored the first run of the contest on a bases-loaded walk to Tyler Krieger in the second, and South Korea tied it in the fifth on a ground single to left by Seo Geon-chang. But while low-ranked Team Israel continues to shock the worldwide baseball world, 2009 runner-up South Korea is on the brink of being bounced from the tournament in the first round for a second straight time, as its loss to the Netherlands has left the team winless in pool play.

Israel responded with five runs in the seventh inning and three more in the eight and ninth, putting away the game for good.

Burcham, who is in the Colorado Rockies' minor-league system, is on the Israel team because of Jewish heritage along with his recent success as a shortstop on the baseball field. As for Korea, its tournament will nearly certainly end after its third game of pool play against Chinese Taipei on Thursday morning.

Kuo said he plans to start Sung Chia-hao (宋家豪), who pitches in Japan, against the Netherlands. On top of all that, manager Jerry Weinstein holds a masters degree in physical education from UCLA. WBC rules mandate that a pitcher who throws at least 50 pitches in a game must sit out for four days. The top three seeds from each pool, which Israel has already clinched, are granted entries to the 2021 tournament.

According to mlb.com, "a team is declared the victor of a game if it leads by either 15 runs after five innings or 10 runs after seven".

"To come out here and show the world what we're capable of, I think, this mattered to me a lot", Zeid told reporters.

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