Team Israel started the European Championships with a nail-biting 2-1 extra-innings victory over Russia on Sunday night in Turin, Italy. Russia pitcher Adrian Rodriguez Telles committed a bases-loaded balk that sent Jordan Petrushka home with the winning run with 1 out in the bottom of the 10th inning.
Charles “Bubby” Rossman was the winning pitcher after coming on in relief and recording 5 outs despite pitching to only three batters! Rossman relieved D.J. Sharabi with one out and the bases loaded in the top of the ninth and induced an inning-ending double-play. He started the top of the 10th with runners on first and second – as per international rules in extra innings – and got the first batter to hit into a double-play and then struck out Viacheslav Vasilev to end the inning.
Pinch-hitter Ophir Katz led off the Israeli half of the 10th with a bunt, which sent Petrushka to third, from where he scored on the first pitch to Ty Kelly.
“It was all about Joey Wagman going 8 and our middle infielders playing great and believing we were going to find a way to win a well-pitched, tight game,” Nate Fish said after his first game as Israel’s manager. ”It was a nerve-wracking game that went our way in the end.”
Wagman pitched a gem as Israel’s starter. He went 8 innings and allowed 1 run on 3 hits. Wagman struck out 7 and walked only 1.
Russia scored the game’s first run on a Geidys Soler Hinojosa double that knocked in David Velazquez in the fourth. Israel tied it when Mitch Glasser's sacrifice bunt brought home Kelly in the sixth. Kelly, who went 2 for 4 with a stolen base, was the only Israel player with multiple hits. Robb Paller and Glasser each reached base with a hit and a walk.
Israel faces France in its second game at 17:00 local time on Monday knowing that a victory could send it through to the quarterfinals stage.