Israel struck out from the World Baseball Classic with a surprising 9-7 loss to Spain, which lost a previous game against Israel by a 4-2 score.
The qualifying game for the main round in the 2013 World Baseball Classic went into the 10th inning, when poor pitching put two players for the Spanish team on base, eventually touching home plate.
Americans, who were deemed eligible to be on the Israeli team by virtue of their connections to Judaism, made the team an on-odds favorite to win the game, but Spain also was not lacking American players.
Israel quickly took the lead in the first inning of the game at Jupiter, Florida, cheered by a large crowd of Jews. Shawn Green and the New York Mets’ John Satin (Triple A Buffalo) hit two singles to send home two others already on base.
By the end of the third inning, Israel was on top 3-1, but batters for Spain hit four straight singles plus one more, putting the team on top 4-3. Thanks to sloppy pitching by Spain – four walks and two batters who were hit – Israel retook the lead 6-4.
By the end of the game Spain gave the Israeli team 11 walks plus six more who reached first base after being hit.
However, Israel’s pitching fell off the mound in the fifth inning, walking three batters and letting Spain cut the lead to one before tying the score in the seventh inning.
Both teams scored a run in the eighth inning, and the score was 7-7 after the ninth inning finished.
The extra inning spelled the demise of the Israeli team, which was hoping that a final round placement would help make baseball more popular in Israel, where the American national pastime has proven to be a big bore for Israelis who are more used to fast-paced soccer.
Israel was left with the cry, “Wait ‘til next year.”