Welcome to the World Baseball Classic, Israel.

Israel pulled off a 2-1, extra innings upset against host country South Korea to open the tournament.

Not bad, considering it was Israel’s first ever game at the tourney.

Largely formed from Jewish-American players, Team Israel has some surprising names. Sam Fuld, Ryan Lavarnway, and Ike Davis are all MLB contributors who joined.

Today’s matchup was a tight one. After former All-Star Jason Marquis threw three shutout innings, South Korea tied the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. Locked at one apiece until the 10th inning, a Scott Burcham infield hit gave Israel a 2-1 lead which would stick.

Without a doubt, the victory is amazing. The fact Israel qualified at all is spectacular. After failing to qualify for the WBC in 2012, Israel made it into the international tourney for the first time ever after beating Britain in a qualifying round in September.

It’s great to see baseball expand its borders, even if only two Israeli players have passports. But, the WBC is very flexible with heritage. It’s why Freddie Freeman is representing team Canada, or Xander Bogaerts suits up for the Netherlands. Having an association or link to the country you represent is all you need – well, that, and national pride.

Congrats to Israel for their first ever win. Hopefully, it’s the first of many for years to come.

About Liam McGuire

Social +Staff writer for The Comeback & Awful Announcing. Liammcguirejournalism@gmail.com

2 thoughts on “The World Baseball Classic just kicked off with a shocking upset

  1. Technically Aruba is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and its inhabitants are Dutch, so it’s only natural for Xander Bogaerts to play for the Netherlands.

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