Ian Kinsler

Israeli Olympian and 2017 World Baseball Classic champion Ian Kinsler has been named the manager for the Team Israel squad at the 2023 WBC. Kinsler, 39, will begin his managerial career with the boys in blue-and-white, some of whom were his teammates at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. A four-time Major League Baseball All-Star and 2018 World Series champion, he received his Israeli citizenship in early 2020.

“I was very excited when I was asked to manage Team Israel at the WBC and it didn’t take long for me to accept the position. I enjoyed my time playing in the tournament and now that I know Israel Baseball well from my time in the Olympics, I am convinced that we will have a very competitive squad that will go far,” Kinsler said. “I can’t wait to visit Israel this summer and see the young talent that will be on display at the Maccabiah Games. We are already hard at work putting together a winner roster for Israel at the WBC and I look forward to making all of our fans proud.”

Kinsler will visit Israel in the coming weeks with his family to be present at the Maccabiah Games. He has been chosen as one of the five torchbearers at the opening ceremonies in Jerusalem on July 14 and will conduct baseball clinics for all the Maccabiah baseball players at Ezra Schwartz Ballpark in Ra’anana the following week. Kinsler will also throw out the opening pitch at one of the Maccabiah baseball games and meet with the media to discuss his plans for Team Israel at the WBC.

“Having Ian Kinsler as our manager provides us with a huge catalyst for recruiting top MLB players, as well as a manager who has a truly analytical approach to the game,” said Jordy Alter, the President of the Israel Association of Baseball. “Ian’s leadership of our Olympic team was crucial to our play in that competition and convincing him to now take on the managerial reigns is a further step in the development of the Israel Baseball program, following our second-place finish at the 2021 European championships.”

Kinsler brings with him WBC experience as a player. He was the starting second baseman and the leadoff hitter for Team USA at the 2017 edition when the Americans won the gold medal. He retired as an active MLB player in 2019 after 14 seasons in the Major Leagues. Kinsler will be the third man to manage Team Israel in the WBC. Brad Ausmus led the team at the 2012 WBC qualifiers and Jerry Weinstein guided Israel through the qualifiers in 2016 to a sixth-place finish at the final event in 2017.

Federation Of The Year Trophy
The Israel Association of Baseball was chosen as the European federation of the year for 2021 on Saturday at the fifth World Baseball Softball Confederation Europe General Congress in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
 
The highlights based on which Israel was selected include a fifth-place finish in the Olympic Games in Tokyo and winning the silver medal at the European Baseball Championship.
 
Peter Kurz, Team Israel’s general manager, was in Ljubljana to receive the award.
 
"I am honored to be part of this group effort in 2021 of Israel Baseball – of reaching and playing in the Olympics; achieving a silver medal in the European Championships and launching two new fields,” Kurz said. “We are building the program in Israel and sending three youth teams this summer to European Championship tournaments. I hope for more big news this week from the WBSC Europe.”
 
Also at the congress, Ami Baran, was elected WBSC Europe Secretary General. Baran is also the Executive Director of the Israel Softball Association and the President of the Israel Athletics Association.
Wanger Lowengart Paller Petrushka

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.

BOX SCORE

Shaked Ido David

This is the 36th time Europe will crown a continental champion in baseball.

The Netherlands is the winningest nation in European baseball with 23 gold medals.

The Netherlands has played in the gold-medal game a record 32 times.

The last time the Netherlands did not reach the European championship game was 1967.

Israel will stand on the podium for the first time in just its second appearance in the European Championships (Pool A).

Israeli finished fourth at the European Championships in 2019. Nine players from the current roster played at that tournament: Tal Erel, Mitch Glasser, Ty Kelly, Shlomo Lipetz, Assaf Lowengart, Robb Paller, D.J. Sharabi, Joey Wagman and Ben Wanger.

Israel will become the 11th nation to medal at the European championships.

Israel's roster at the European championships features 10 native-born Israeli players:

Shaked Baruch, Tal Erel, Itai Goldner, Orr Gottlieb, David Ibn-Ezra, Ophir Katz, Shlomo Lipetz, Assaf Lowengart, Ivri Margolin and Ido Peled.

The Israel roster has five players on the roster who helped Israel place first at the 2019 European Championships U18 Qualifier in Sweden: Shaked Baruch, Itai Goldner, Ivri Margolin, Jordan Petrushka and Ido Peled.

Four players have both hit and pitched for Israel at the tournament: Itai Goldner, Ty Kelly, Joey Wagman and Ben Wanger.

Assaf Lowengart enters the final day of competition tied for second in the tournament with 3 home runs. He is tied for third with 11 RBI.

Mitch Glasser is tied for second in the tournament with 4 doubles.

Glasser and Ty Kelly are tied for sixth in the tournament with 6 walks each.

Joey Wagman is tied for the tournament lead with 17 strikeouts.

Ben Wanger is one of three pitchers at the tournament with a 2-0 record.

Ivri Margolin is the youngest player on the Israel roster at 18 years, 5 months and 6 days.

Shlomo Lipetz is the oldest player on the Israel roster at 42 years, 7 months and 8 days.

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