Israel and Sweden were well matched but it was Israel, pulling out the late innings lead, with a tick in the win column today.
Israel jumped off to a 1-0 start in the bottom of the 2nd. Sweden tied it up, then went ahead by one, in the top of the 4th.
They added some insurance to start the 7thand there it stood, that fragile 1 run lead, heading into the bottom of the 9th.
Throughout the game, both team’s offensive successes depended on playing solid small ball.
In the end, the pressure was too much for Sweden’s closer Jacob Syren. He started the 9thand gave up back-to-back singles. The runners then advanced a bag on a throwing error by third baseman Pers Sjoers. That’s when the coach decided to take a trip to calm his hurler.
It seemed to have the opposite effect. Syren walked the next batter then threw wild. That pitch pushed everyone up a base and, seeing they were all full but home, the tying run crossed the plate.
The call was then made to intentionally walk the next batter, filling them back up and, hopefully, forcing the out should a defensive opportunity arise. The plan backfired.
The next batter struck out leaving them full for Israel’s rightfielder Jeremy Wolf. He showed patience at the plate and was rewarded with four straight balls to walk in the winning run.