Israeli team eliminated from World Baseball Classic

Improbable run ends with loss to Japan.

Gary Willig,

Baseball (illustration)
Baseball (illustration)

Israel's hopes to go all the way in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) came to an end Wednesday with a loss to Japan.

The Israeli team stunned the sports world by going 3-0 in the first round of the WBC and going undefeated in its first four games. By advancing to the second round, Israel made it to the final eight teams competing in the WBC.

Israel's loss to Japan was its second loss in the second round, eliminating it from the competition.

Israel and Japan were tied at 0-0 for five innings until the Japanese team scored five runs in the sixth inning, a deficit which the Israeli team was not able to come back from.

The Israeli team was ranked 41st in the world prior to the beginning of the competition. It consistently defeated higher ranked teams in the first round, even defeating 5th ranked Cuba in the first game of the second round.

This was the first year Israel had qualified for the tournament. The Israeli team did not make it past the qualifiers in 2012, and Israel had not competed in previous tournaments at all.

The players took the field each game for the singing of the Israeli national anthem, Hatikva, and wore blue kippahs under their caps.

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