Team Israel overcame consistently rainy weather, 13 runners left on base and a determined Swedish team to win their second game 4-3 at the European Championships at the Weyersberg Baseball Park in Solingen, Germany on September 8, with a walk-off. The win went to Jon Moscot.
Israel was first out of gate to score in the second inning. Rob Paller doubled to right center, Zach Penprase reached on a throwing error by third base, and Paller advanced to third. Jeremy Wolf singled to center field and Paller scored.
In the fourth inning, Sweden drove two runs in, off starter Eric Brodkowitz, the first a homerun from Nicolas Filice with one out, the second from a balk with bases loaded. Mitch Glasser opened the fourth inning with a walk, and then advanced to second when Ty Kelly grounded out to the pitcher. A single from Blake Gailen down the right field line brought Glasser home to even the score.
Benajmin Wanger, who was back from injury and was unavailable for the earlier European Championship tournaments came in for Brodkowitz in the fifth inning. He retired the side in order and repeated the feat in the sixth.
The seventh inning saw Sweden edge in front with Daniel Johnson reaching on a fielding error by shortstop Ty Kelly. Pontus Bystroem doubled down the right field to advance Johnson to third. After a strike out, and an intentional walk, Peter Johannessen flied out to right field, and Johnson scored an unearned run.
Jon Moscot, who had also just returned from injury and surgery and has been waiting to join Team Israel since before the 2017 World Baseball Classic, came in for Wanger, and proceeded to retire the side in order as well. Israel was unable to make any headway in the eighth inning, and as the rain intensified, the stage was set for a dramatic final inning, with Sweden, the visiting team, ahead 3-2. Following a walk by Johnson, a Bystroem grounded out to advance Johnson to second. A second ground out moved Johnson to third. Following the intentional walk of Alex Rubanowitz, Moscot struck out Johannessen swinging, leaving two Swedish runners on base.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, with Sweden's formidable Jacon Syren in for Niklas Melin, Nick Rickles singled up the middle and Assaf Lowengart pinch ran for Rickles. Danny Valencia singled to third base, and advanced to second on a throwing error by third base. Lowengart advanced to second, and then to third on the error. Simon Rosenbaum walked and then, on a wild pitch, Rosenbaum advanced to second, Valencia advanced to third and Lowengart scored to even the game. The Swedes intentionally walked Paller and struck out Zach Penprase. With bases loaded and one out, Jeremy Wolf drew the walk that advanced the runner for the winning run by Valencia and for Israel to go 2-0 in the tournament. Next, Israel faces hosts Germany.
Israel will also face Great Britain and Netherlands in Group A. Pool B is made up of Austria, Belgium, Italy, France, Spain and Croatia. The top five teams advance to the qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020, to take place in Parma Italy from September 18-22.
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