Team Israel fell to 0-2 at the Olympic Games in Tokyo after suffering an 8-1 loss against Team USA on Friday evening at Yokohama Baseball Stadium. Manager Eric Holtz’s side will place third in Group B and face the last-place team in Group A on Sunday in a do-or-die game for both teams.
Tyler Austin hit a 2-run homer in the third and finished with 3 RBIs to lead the Americans. Eddy Alvarez and Bubba Starling drove in 2 runs apiece too. Joe Ryan allowed 1 run and struck out 5 in 6 innings to get the win.
Israel starter Joey Wagman was cruising with 4 Ks in the first two innings before running into trouble with 2 outs in the third. DJ Sharabi pitched a scoreless fourth and fifth frame and Danny Valencia got Israel on the scoreboard with a monster shot to left field in the fourth, but Israel's hurlers allowed runs in each of the last four innings. Catcher Ryan Lavarnway was the only Israeli with multiple hits.
Holtz made sure to give all the players on the roster a chance to play, including the four Israeli-born players. Veteran pitcher Shlomo Lipetz forced a double-play and Alon Leichman threw a scoreless inning. Assaf Lowengart came on as a defensive replacement in the outfield and Tal Erel as a pinch hitter in the ninth.