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Classic upset: Israel stuns Korea in extra innings

Underdog Israel beats Korea 2-1 in World Baseball Classic opener.


March 6, 2017 | Latest Photo Prev Next
Pitcher Josh Zeid #28 of Israel celebrates after winning the World Baseball Classic Pool A Game One between Israel and South Korea.Pitcher Josh Zeid #28 of Israel celebrates after winning the World Baseball Classic Pool A Game One between Israel and South Korea.Photo: Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images
March 6, 2017 | Latest Photo

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.

Scott Burcham hits a single in WBC.Scott Burcham of Israel knocks in the winning run in the tenth inning of the World Baseball Classic. (Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

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.”

Opening game of the World Baseball Classic Israel vs. South KoreaSam Fuld of Israel hits a liner to center field in the first inning of the World Baseball Classic. (Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

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.

Israeli pitcher Jason Marquis pitching in WBC.Jason Marquis of Israel pitches in the third inning of the World Baseball Classic. (Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

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.

Jeremy Bleich pitches for Israel at the WBC.Alex Katz relieved starting pitcher Jason Marquis in the 4th inning of the team's opening round game of the World Baseball Classic. (Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

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.

Israeli baseball players celebrate scoring a run in WBC.Nate Freiman of Israel is congratulated by Scott Burcham after scoring in the second inning of the World Baseball Classic. (Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

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