Israel Records First Olympics Win, Eliminates Mexico From Tokyo Games

Image credit: Danny Valencia (Getty Images)

Danny Valencia hit a three-run home run, Nick Rickles drove in three more runs and Israel batted around twice in a 12-5 rout of Mexico for its first-ever Olympics victory on Sunday.

Israel (1-2) remains alive in the tournament and will face the winner of the Dominican Republic-South Korea game on Monday. Mexico (0-3) is eliminated.

Israel never trailed en route to its first win in any team sport at the Olympics since 1968. It jumped out to an immediate 1-0 lead on an RBI single by Rickles in the top of the first inning and batted around in a five-run third, led by Valencia’s three-run homer and a two-run single by Rickles.

Mexico chipped away at Israel’s 6-0 lead and cut the deficit to 6-5 on Adrian Gonzalez’s RBI single in the bottom of the sixth, but Israel put the game away with another big inning in the seventh. Facing longtime big leaguers Fernando Salas and Oliver Perez out of Mexico’s bullpen, Israel sent 10 men to the plate and scored six runs to put the game away. Ian Kinsler doubled to lead off the inning and scored on Blake Gailen’s RBI single, Mitch Glasser and Zach Penprase delivered back-to-back two-run singles and Scotty Burcham capped the scoring with an RBI double.

The final five runs all scored with two outs.

Valencia finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored, Rickles went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and Glasser and Gailen each went 2-for-5 to lead Israel’s 12-hit attack. Zack Weiss earned Israel’s first-ever Olympics win on the mound and D.J. Sharabi, a late addition to the roster, pitched two scoreless innings to close it out.

Manuel Barreda allowed four hits and six runs (five earned) in two innings to take the loss for Mexico. Gonzalez and Joey Meneses each went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Mexico went winless in its first Olympics appearance in baseball.

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