Underdog Israel crushes Cuba as Cinderella squad stuns baseball tourney again


Israel’s national baseball team defeated Cuba 4-1 in the first game of the second round of the World Baseball Classic on Sunday, the latest shock upset for the Jewish state’s underdog sports team.

Israel’s batters overcame an early 1-0 deficit, and the team’s pitchers kept the heavily favored Cuban team to just five hits, continuing the squad’s unlikely Cinderella run.

But after that, it was entirely Israel’s game.

Team Israel took a 2-1 lead in the sixth when Zach Borenstein singled to right scoring Ty Kelly from second base. Blake Gailen made it 3-1 with a two-out double to right that scored Nate Freiman.

Israel tacked on another run in the eighth on a sacrifice bunt by Gailen that scored Borenstein from third.

Josh Zeid pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth when he got Willian Saavedra to ground out to third with two out.

The Israeli team has become the tournament’s unlikely darlings on its way to a 4-0 start in the international tournament.

Israel entered this showcase tournament ranked 41st in the world, the lowest-ranked and last team to qualify. In quick succession, however, the Israelis beat third-ranked South
Korea 2-1 in extra innings in the opening game before topping fourth-ranked Taiwan 15-7 and ninth-ranked Netherlands 4-2 to finish first in Pool A with a 3-0 record.

Read more: Times of Israel