Israel Tops Netherlands To Sweep Pool A

2017 World Baseball Classic

Israel's dream run in the World Baseball Classic rolls on.

Nate Freiman paced a three-run first inning with an RBI double, and Israel beat The Netherlands 4-2 on Wednesday in Seoul to win Pool A.

Israel (3-0) batted around in the first inning against 42-year-old Netherlands starter Rob Cordemans and kept the lead from there. The victory capped a historic run for Israel, which earned its first WBC appearance and will advance to the second round as surprising Pool A champions. The Dutch (2-1) will also advance to the second round as Pool A runners-up.

Freiman got the scoring started with a one-out double into the left field corner off Cordemans. Zach Borenstein followed with an RBI groundout and Ryan Lavarnway added the finishing touch with a single to score Freiman.

Cordemans (0-1), pitching in his fourth WBC but coming off a shoulder injury, lasted just one inning and gave up four hits and three runs and walked two.

The Netherlands' best chance came in the eighth. Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius stepped to the plate with one out and the bases loaded, but Israeli closer Josh Zeid induced an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play to end the threat and preserve Israel's 4-2 lead.

Zeid, who picked up the win in Israel's opening victory against Korea, finished it off with a 1-2-3 ninth to earn the save.

Lavarnway finished 2-for-3 and was named Pool A MVP. He hit .556 (5-for-9) with a home run and three RBIs in pool play as Israel's starting catcher.

Jason Marquis (1-0) pitched a scoreless first inning for the win.

Jurickson Profar went 3-for-3 with two doubles to lead the Netherlands.

Israel will open second-round play in Tokyo on Saturday at 10 p.m. ET. The Netherlands will open on Sunday at 6 a.m. ET.


AUSTRALIA 11, CHINA 0 (8 innings): Luke Hughes homered and drove in four runs, James Beresford hit a grand slam and Australia mercy-ruled China in Pool B play in Tokyo.

Hughes' two-run homer in the third inning got the scoring started for Australia (1-1) and he added a two-run double in the seventh to make it a 6-0 game. Beresford's grand slam in the eighth made it a double-digit game and forced the mercy rule to be invoked.

Travis Blackley (1-0) pitched 4.2 scoreless innings with two hits allowed to pick up the win. He combined with three relievers on a five-hitter.

Kwon Ju (0-1) pitched three innings, gave up three hits and two runs, walked two and didn't strike anyone out to take the loss for China (0-2).

Australia can clinch its first-ever spot in the second round with a win over Cuba tonight at 10 p.m., and it’s kind of a big deal for the team.

“It’d mean the world to Australian baseball to make the second round,” manager John Deeble said. “It’d be the biggest thing since winning silver at the 2004 Olympics.”

China wraps up pool play against Japan on Friday at 5 a.m. ET.


SOUTH KOREA 11, TAIWAN 8 (10 innings): Eujii Yang hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th inning and pinch-hitter Taekyun Kim added a two-run homer to give host South Korea (1-2) its only win of Pool A play in the final game in Seoul.

South Korea finishes in third place in its pool with the win, earning an automatic berth into the next WBC. Taiwan (0-3) finishes in last place and will have to qualify in 2021.

Korea led 6-0 in the second inning and 8-3 in the fourth, but Taiwan crawled its way back and ultimately tied it 8-all on Yung-Chi Chen's RBI single in the seventh.

Cardinals reliever Seung Hwan Oh shut it down the rest of the way for Korea though, giving the offense time to bounce back. Oh (0-1) earned the win with two hitless innings of relief. He walked one and struck out three.

Hung-Wen Chen (0-2) allowed all three runs in the tenth to take the loss.

Kun-Sheng Li went 3-for-4 to lead Taiwan. Yi-Chuan Lin hit two doubles and Che-Hsuan Lin homered.

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