Israel tops South Korea in 2017 World Baseball Classic opener

Qualifier Israel, stacked with USA -born professional players, held its nerve at Seoul's Gocheok Sky Dome after the teams were all square at one after nine innings.

On Monday, Team Israel won its WBC opener against South Korea in an upset, 2-1 in 10 innings.

Marquis and Zeid not only combined to hurl six scoreless innings, but they preserved their availability for the remainder of pool play.

Josh Zeid went three innings, striking out power-hitter Lee Dae-ho to end it and notch the win for Israel.

Israel coaxed a bases-loaded walk to take a 1-0 lead in the second inning in their game against Korea.

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With Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred in attendance at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Israel's Scott Burcham broke a 1-1 tie with a single up the middle against Korea's Chang-Yong Lim that allowed the go-head runner to score.

The second baseman should be covering first base in that situation but can be seen rushing over to second while the shortstop stands and does nothing.

After a 2-0 start in first-round games at the World Baseball Classic in Seoul, baseball fans are starting to take notice of Team Israel and the large, stuffed, mustachioed figure on their bench. Israel continues its Pool A play on Tuesday (10 p.m. Monday local time) against Chinese Taipei.

In 2013, a number of Major League players of Jewish descent, including Ian Kinsler and Kevin Youkilis, publicly expressed interest in playing for Israel in the World Baseball Classic.

Kuo said he plans to start Sung Chia-hao (宋家豪), who pitches in Japan, against the Netherlands.

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Israel had many opportunities with the bases loaded to score runs, but everytime they came up empty as they left 14 runners on base.

South Korea tried to mount a rally in the top third, as Kim Tae-gun and Lee Yong-kyu worked starter Rick van den Hurk for back-to-back walks.

The results marked a continuation of the Cinderella story of rank-outsiders Israel.

Israel manager Jerry Weinstein's masterful use of his pitching staff also could provide an advantage moving forward.

WBC rules prevent pitchers from throwing more than 65 pitches in first-round matchups.

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Games are being televised on MLB Network and ESPN Deportes and are also available on MLB Network Radio. We're preparing for the game with the Netherlands and that's what we're thinking about right now.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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