Classic upset: Israel stuns Korea in extra innings
Underdog Israel beats Korea 2-1 in World Baseball Classic opener.
The underdog didn't wait long to have its day.
Israel defeated Korea Monday evening in Seoul, 2-1, in the opening game of the World Baseball Classic. Josh Zied got the win for Israel while Lim Chang-yong took the loss for Korea.
It was a hard-fought victory for an Israeli team that was the last to qualify for the 16-team tournament and which ESPN has called "essentially the Mighty Ducks, Hickory High and the Jamaican bobsled team all rolled into one.”
The game lasted more than four hours, with Israel squandering several scoring opportunities. The team loaded the bases three times through the first nine innings, scoring on only one of those chances when Tyler Krieger was walked in the 2nd inning to force home a runner.
But it was strong pitching from the likes of Jason Marquis and Alex Katz that kept Israel in the game and ultimately allowed for shortstop Scott Burcham to knock in the go ahead run in the top of the 10th.
For Korea, which boasts several major leaguers on its roster, the loss was a setback in its quest to win a tournament in which many consider them to be the favorite.
For Israel, appearing in its first World Baseball Classic, it will certainly help build confidence as they prepare to take on Chinese-Taipei Monday night EST.
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