Team Israel will play Team France in the quarter finals of the European Baseball Championships in Germany on Friday.
Israel finished second in Pool A after losing their final round robin game today to the current European Champions Netherlands 13-4. With Shlomo Lipetz on the mound, Israel started strong with a two-run home run from Danny Valencia in the first inning. Netherlands evened up the game in the next inning, and followed with a strong batting performance. Israel was able to add two runs in the sixth inning but weren’t able to hold off the Dutch who had four home runs today.
Israel came into the final round robin game leading their pool with four wins, having beaten Czech Republic, Sweden, Germany and Great Britain. Netherlands had three wins, and one loss to the Czechs. With both teams at 4-1, the tie breaker was the head to head. This send Israel to the playoffs in second position. They face France, who finished the B Pool with three wins and two losses.
“We looked very strong throughout the week,” says General Manager and IAB President Peter Kurz. “We are now focused on our next goal, which is to make it into the top five teams in the tournament.” A top five tournament finish will automatically send Team Israel to the Olympic Games Qualifiers taking place in Parma, Italy next week.
“We faced some extremely strong teams this week,” notes Kurz. “The fact that we were able to beat these tough competitors is a great credit to all the players and the staff. We are ready for the next phase and look forward to representing Israel in general and Israel Baseball in particular with pride.”