Israel falls to Netherlands, is European runner-up
Israel faltered late and lost 9-4 to the Netherlands in the final of the 2021 CEB European Championships in Turin, Italy, on Sunday night. The boys in blue and white led 4-1 at the seventh-inning stretch, but allowed the Dutch to score 4 runs in the bottom of the seventh and 4 more in the eighth to win the European crown for the 24th time.
Israel finished as the tournament runner-up and the silver medals won represent the first medals of any kind for Israel at the European Championships. In fact, Israel is just the 11th nation to ever medal in the 36 editions of the tournament.
Although the Netherlands scored first in the bottom of the second inning, Israel came back in the fourth. Ty Kelly and Mitch Glasser started the inning with walks. Kelly came home on Robb Paller’s sacrifice fly and Glasser followed on Jordan Petrushka's infield single. Assaf Lowengart crushed a 2-run homer in the sixth to make it 4-1.
Ben Wanger, who pitched 5 innings in relief of started Joey Wagman, tired in the 7th and was replaced by Bubby Rossman after allowing the first two batters to reach base. Roger Bernadina tied it with a clutch home run and the Dutch rally continued as Sharlon Schoop drove in the go-ahead run. Schoop added a 2-run double in the eighth and Dashenko Ricardo followed with a home run to put the game on ice.
Mike Groen was the winning pitcher after throwing a scoreless seventh for the Netherlands and Wendell Florandus struck out 4 in perfect eighth and ninth innings to get the save. Rossman took the loss after allowing 2 runs on 4 hits.
The Dutch had 13 hits compared to Israel’s 4. Israel also committed 3 errors, while the Netherlands had 1.