In the nightcap of the first day of the World Baseball Classic Qualifier in Brooklyn’s MCU Park, it was much more of a game than the previous one between Brazil and Pakistan.
Both teams were pretty much each equal for the biggest part of the game until the bottom of the seventh innings when Israel rallied past the British and walked away with the 5-2 win.
Great Britain 2 – 5 Israel
After both teams had scored a run in the second inning, the game went on with four scoreless innings before Great Britain too a one run lead in the top of the seventh.Champ Stuart doubled on a line drive to center field and advanced to third on a wild pitch. After Jordan Serena grounded out 4-3, Great Britain played by the book and scored on a sac fly to right field, hit by Todd Isaacs.
But Israel did not give up as the first five hitters reached base against Vaughan Harris in the bottom of the seventh. With runners in scoring position, Mike Meyers hit a sac fly to left field and drove in Rhett Wiseman to tie the game at two. Zach Borenstein then hit a line drive single to right field to drive in Scott Burcham. Two walks later, reliever Vaughan Harris was replaced by then, a single and a sac fly drove in two more runs to give Israel the 5-2 lead.
In the eighth inning, Great Britain had a scoring opportunity with runners on first and second and two outs, but their offense fell short. Also in the ninth they had another scoring opportunity with runners in scoring position but once again the offense failed and the team had to settle for the loss.
Craig Breslow earned the win for Israel. In an inning of relief, he gave up two hits and a walk and struck out two.
Vaughan Harris took the loss for Great Britain as he managed to record only one out in the bottom of the seventh and was tabbed for four runs on three hits and a walk.
Best hitter for Israel was catcher Ryan Lavarnway. He went 3 for 4 with a walk and a run scored.
After being eliminated in the 2012 Qualifier in an extra inning tie-break, Israel made a first step to qualify for the main tournament in 2017.
Both teams contain a lot of American born players with MLB or MiLB experience. The number of real Israel born players on the Israel squad is two.