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  • Team EBSM

Israel Advances

Israel's Ryan Lavarnway slides in against Mexico Photo Credit: WBSC

In a must-win against fifth-ranked Mexico, Israel pulls out the W.

It took a dozen pitchers between them for this regulation game to come to a close. Israel pulled ahead of Mexico at the start. Though the Mexican bench kept it close through six, they were never able to capture the lead.

Over 9 innings of work Israel’s pen, five arms in all, gave up 5 runs off 8 hits striking out 7 and giving up just 2 BB with 64% of their pitches landing in the zone. On Mexico’s side there were seven pitchers in all. Together they gave up 11 earned runs, walked 10 and struck out 11 with just 60% of their pitches crossing the plate. Mexico also committed a fielding error that cost them a run, but not the game, while Israel fielded perfectly.

Today at the plate it was Valencia’s bat that finally warmed up. Hitting in the two-spot 1B Danny Valencia has always had a strong bat. Today he had two hits and three runs over 4 at bats. Valencia had a homerun as well as 3 RBIs and also walked to end the day with a .500 average and a 1.850 OPS. Hitting last in the order SS Scotty Burcham also had a strong day on offense. He had 1 run off 1 hit, a double, with an RBI. His was not the only double on the day for Israel. In fact, they had 5 of them. Ryan Lavarnway, Blake Gailen, Mitch Glasser and Itan Kinsler all hit for extra bases. Mexico also had 5 doubles for a game total of 10.

The only other extra base hit was Valencia’s homer. In the top of the 1st Valencia started the game with a 4-pitch walk. Lavarnway then hit for two and brought him around for the first run of the game.

5 of the 11 extra base hits in the game came in the 3rd. Burcham started the 3rd with a 5-pitch walk and Kinsler followed him on with the same. That’s when Valencia took it over the left field fence and brought them all around. Lavarnway next reached on a fielding error by Mexico’s 3B Isaac Rodriguez. Blake Gailen then advanced him to 3rd on a double out to right. After a pitching change Nick Rickles singled to center giving Lavarnway and Gailen each enough time to round home. Israel left the top half of the inning ahead by six.

The 3rd seemed to be about the time both benches woke up and each of the pens tuckered out as Mexico added four of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Jonathan Jones doubled down the left field line to start things off. Ryan Goins then doubled to left to drive him in. Isaac Rodriguez reached on a walk as Goins scored on the wild pitch for ball four. That prompted the first of Israel’s pitching changes but it didn’t seem to make much of a difference, the air was ripe for doubles. Sebastian Elizalde doubled down the right field line scoring Rodriguez. Joey Meneses then singled up the middle to bring around Elizalde. At the end of three the score was 6-4 in favor of Israel.

The new pitchers settled in and things quieted down until the bottom of the 6th when Mexico came within one. Meneses doubled deep to right and was driven in by a single off the bat of Adrian Gonzalez.

Israel left absolutely nothing to chance answering in the top of the 7th with a 6-run inning to put them ahead by five. After Mexico made their third pitching change in the game Ian Kinsler doubled deep to left off the first pitch thrown by the new arm. Danny Valencia then singled to center placing runners on the corners. Another pitching change and Gailen gave the new hurler two looks before taking one through the right side to score Kinsler. With two away Ty Kelly walked to load them up.

Mitch Glasser then singled to center giving both Valencia and Gailen time to come around. That left runners on 2nd and 3rd for Zack Penprase who singled out to center and drove them both in. Burcham then doubled to right to bring around Penprase. That prompted yet another pitching change in the inning and the final out, as well as the final score 12-5, was recorded.

Israel will face off against either the Dominican Republic or Korea tomorrow, depending on who emerges victorious from their game this afternoon. As you’ll recall Israel was defeated by Korea in extra innings in their first encounter of the Games. No doubt they’d like a second chance.

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