Israel won Pool A of the World Baseball Classic, as they beat previously undefeated Netherlands, 4-2.
Israel jumped on Netherlands veteran starter Rob Cordemans for three runs in the first on four hits and two walks. The Netherlands had their chance in the bottom of the first against veteran Jason Marquis, but Jurickson Profar was caught between third and home and was thrown out. He would make another base running blunder in the sixth (which would have led to a run later in the inning).
Both starters only pitched one inning, as the two teams prepare for the next round in Tokyo.
Jake Kalish made his WBC debut for Israel and threw a scoreless 2nd inning. He allowed a one out single to Didi Gregorius, but struck out two (Jonathan Schoop and Dashenko Ricardo).
For the Netherlands, former KC Royal JC Sulbaran made his debut and threw 2.2 scoreless innings. He did walk four, but allowed just one hit and struck out two.
Former Royal Cody Decker started in left field and batted seventh for Israel. He went 1-for-3 before being pinch-hit for in the seventh.
Host Korea finished up Pool A with an 11-8 victory over Chinese-Taipei in ten innings. Korea blew an 8-3 lead.
In the top of the tenth, two straight one out singles followed by a sac fly put Korea on top. Taekyun Kim followed with a two-run home run to give Korea some insurance.
In the bottom of the tenth, Chinese-Taipei went down in order.
The two teams combined for 31 hits. There were also five hit batters
Over in Pool B, Australia beat China, 11-0 in eight innings as the mercy rule was applied. The game was scoreless until the third, when Luke Hughes hit a two-run homer.
In the seventh, Hughes doubled in two more and Tim Kennelly drove him in with a single. In the 8th inning, James Beresford hit a grand slam to finish off China.
Catcher Allan de San Miguel went 1-for-3 with a double.
Four Australian pitchers held China to five hits. Starter Travis Blackley scattered two hits over 4.2 innings. He struck out two, but only threw 48 pitches.
With Australia’s win, Japan clinched a spot in the second round in Tokyo. Tonight’s game (10pm ET) between Australia and Cuba will determine the other team that will advance to the second round. Japan still plays China at 5am ET tomorrow.
Pool C in Miami kicks off today with Canada playing the Dominican Republic at 6pm ET. Ryan Dempster (who has come out of retirement) is expected to start for Canada against Carlos Martinez of the DR.
Pool D in Jalisco, Mexico kicks off tonight at 9pm ET as host Mexico plays Italy. Yovani Gallardo is expected to match up against Alex Maestri.
*All games will be televised on MLB Network.