Jake Fishman Photo WBSC

Team Israel suffered a heart-breaking 6-5 loss in 10 innings to South Korea in the teams' opening game at the 2020 Olympic Games at Yokohama Stadium in Japan on Thursday. Pinch-runner Kunwoo Park scored the winning run when Israel reliever Jeremy Bleich's 2-out pitch to Euiji Yang grazed the Korean catcher with bases loaded.

Manager Eric Holtz's men struck first on a 2-run home run by Ian Kinsler in the third inning and – after Korea tied it with a 2-run homer off Jake Fishman in the fourth – Ryan Lavarnway blasted a 2-run shot in the sixth to make it 4-2. Zack Weiss gave up 3 runs in the bottom of the seventh as Korea assumed control, however Lavarnway went deep for a second time to tie the game at 5-5 in the top of the ninth and Josh Zeid shot down Korea in the bottom half of the inning to force extra innings.

Under international rules, both teams start all extra innings with runners on first and second. Israel failed to capitalize as Mitch Glasser, Scott Burcham and Kinsler struck out in order. Jaegyun Hwang bunted the runners over for Korea in the bottom of the 10th before Ty Kelly made a great running catch behind third. Bleich then loaded the bases when he hit Kyoungmin Hur and his final pitch that glanced off Yang's shirt sent the winning run home.

Korea out-hit Israel 11-7, led by shortstop Ji Hwan Oh, who had 3 hits and 3 RBIs. Korea's starting pitcher Taein Won allowed 2 runs and struck out 5 in 3 innings. Seunghwan Oh, who gave up Lavarnway's second homer, was credited with the win. He allowed 1 run and struck out 5 in two innings.

Tragedy hit Israel early when starting pitcher Jon Moscot left the game with an injury after only 9 pitches thrown. Fishman allowed 2 earned runs in 3.2 innings and Weiss allowed 3 runs in 2 innings. Zeid threw 2.1 scoreless innings and Alex Katz did not allow a hit or a run in 1 inning of work.

BOX SCORE

Gloveworks Logo

The Israel Association of Baseball has come to an agreement with Gloveworks that makes it the official baseball glove of Team Israel. As part of the sponsorship, Gloveworks has provided each player and member of the coaching staff of Israel's Olympic baseball team with a custom-made baseball glove, many of which have the Israeli flag or team logo on the leather.

“The quality and spirit of Gloveworks closely resembles that of our Olympic team,” said Adam Gladstone, Team Israel’s Assistant GM and Director of Baseball Operations. “Gloveworks is one of the finest brands in the business and we are delighted to have them among our family of sponsors as we head to Tokyo.”

The players on Team Israel received their Gloveworks gloves during a mini-camp in Arizona in May and have been breaking them in since. Gloveworks specializes in custom baseball gloves with a wider range of leather types than anybody else in the industry – including steerhide in 15 colors and kip in seven colors. There are 22 unique designs for webs and the ability to add logos, names and numbers via embroideries, as well as many more personalization options.

“I am honored that Gloveworks has the opportunity to support and travel with Team Israel,” said Donald Kim, the CEO of Gloveworks. “It’s exciting to know that our gloves will be seen on such a large stage during the Olympics. Through our partnership, I hope we can help Team Israel keep winning. We will all be so happy when they bring home the gold medal.”

Team Israel qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games by winning the Africa/Europe Qualifying Event in September 2019 in Italy. This marks the first time Israel will compete in baseball at the Olympics. It is the first team to represent Israel at the Olympic Games since 1976 when Israel's national soccer team played in Montreal. The six-team Olympic Baseball Tournament will run from July 28 through August 7. Israel will face the USA in its first game in Japan on Thursday, July 29, and meet Korea the next day. 

You can help Team Israel on its journey by supporting the 25th Player campaign with donations made via Jewish National Fund-USA. Go to IsraelBaseball.com for more information. Official Team Israel baseball apparel can be purchased at teamisraelbaseball.com.

Olympic Roster Banner

Team Israel general manager Peter Kurz submitted the following 24-man roster to the World Baseball Softball Confederation and the Olympic Committee Israel. These players will represent Israel in baseball at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Changes can be made to the roster due to injuries up until the technical meeting in Tokyo on July 27.

Pitchers: Jeremy Bleich, Jonathan deMarte, Jake Fishman, Alex Katz, Jared Lakind, Alon Leichman, Shlomo Lipetz, Jon Moscot, Joey Wagman, Ben Wanger, Zack Weiss, Josh Zeid.
Catchers: Tal Erel, Ryan Lavarnway, Nick Rickles.
Infielders: Scott Burcham, Ty Kelly, Ian Kinsler, Zach Penprase, Danny Valencia.
Outfielders: Blake Gailen, Mitch Glasser, Assaf Lowengart, Robb Paller. 

Olympic roster

WINRealityLogo

Team Israel, WIN Reality partner up on Olympic preparation

Israel Baseball is pleased to announce that WIN Reality is the exclusive Player Development Partner of the Israeli national baseball team. Team Israel, which will be one of six teams to compete in baseball at the 2020 Olympic Games, will be using the virtual reality technology developed by WIN Reality to prepare for the games in Tokyo. WIN Reality has donated several packages to the team to help the players get ready to chase a historic Olympic medal. 

WIN Reality uses virtual reality to put hitters in the batter’s box against the best pitchers in baseball. With the Oculus Quest, WIN Reality Bat Attachment and the Diamond Kinetics SwingTracker, batters can train their eyes to prepare for different release points, recognize pitches and adjust to different speeds.

“Israel Baseball has always been in the forefront of providing our players with the best-in-class preparation for our international tournaments,” said Team Israel Bench Coach Alex Jacobs. “In such a high stakes tournament in Tokyo, WIN Reality’s VR system takes our preparation efforts beyond an elite level by providing our hitters with game-like reps and visual preparation that will enhance their familiarity with pitchers they have never seen before, all while creating a confidence for when they are in the box live, competing for a medal, in Tokyo.”

With their patented technology, WIN Reality can recreate pitchers’ motions so that hitters can practice swinging against pitchers they have never seen in person before. That is especially valuable for Team Israel before the Olympics where the players will face pitchers from leagues they have never competed in. 

“WIN Reality has been a great tool for me in keeping my eyes and reaction time polished and ready for seeing live pitching leading up to the 2021 season and the games in Tokyo,” Team Israel outfielder Blake Gailen said.

“We are thrilled to work with Team Israel and assist in their preparation as they embark to Tokyo for the Olympics,” said Chris O’Dowd, WIN Reality Co-Founder & CEO. “From Team Israel’s historic run in the 2017 WBC to being one of just six teams to qualify for the 2020 Olympics, it’s an exciting time for the team, both domestically and worldwide, and we appreciate that we can be a part of their journey.”

Team Israel qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games by winning the Africa/Europe Qualifying Event in September 2019 in Italy. This marks the first time Israel will compete in baseball at the Olympics. It is the first team to represent Israel at the Olympic Games since 1976 when Israel's national soccer team played in Montreal. The six-team Olympic Baseball Tournament will run from July 28 through August 7. Israel will face the USA in its first game in Japan on Thursday, July 29, and meet Korea the next day. 

Part of Team Israel's preparation will include a training camp and tour in which it will play nine games over 10 days in mid-July in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Maryland. You can help Team Israel on its journey by supporting the 25th Player campaign with donations made via Jewish National Fund-USA. Go to IsraelBaseball.com for more information. Official Team Israel baseball apparel can be purchased at teamisraelbaseball.com.

About Israel Baseball

The Israel Association of Baseball was founded in 1986 and has overseen the growth of the sport in the country ever since, culminating with Team Israel’s historic qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The IAB is a member of The Israel Olympic Committee, The Confederation of European Baseball (CEB), the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), Major League Baseball International (MLBI) and Little League.

As part of the expansion of baseball activities in Israel, the IAB is building new fields in conjunction with the Jewish National Fund-USA’s Project Baseball and looks forward to the completion of the new Bet Shemesh complex, which will host international tournaments, as well as the Raanana field, which will be a joint baseball-soccer facility, both slated for 2021. There are also plans to expand the Sportek Tel Aviv field and to add lighting. For further information, please contact the General Manager, Peter Kurz, at .

About WIN Reality 

WIN Reality specializes in sports technology with a focus on improving athlete performance. Their virtual reality software is used for player development and game preparation by professional, collegiate, and high school baseball & softball organizations worldwide to quantify performance potential, skill development, and transfer training improvements into competition. This unique virtual reality application has been successfully implemented in game preparation and player development programs by over 20 Major League organizations and premier college programs across the country. WIN Reality is designed for players, by players. 

U 18 Euros Logo

Coach Ophir Katz will lead 18 players to Macerata, Italy, for the U18 European Baseball Championship next week, marking the first time that Israel will play at that level. Nine teams will compete at the event, which was rescheduled from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Israel will compete against the Netherlands, Lithuania, Italy and France in Group A. Group B features Austria, the Czech Republic, Spain and Germany.

Israel qualified for the European Championship by winning the U18 qualifier in 2019 in Sweden. Only two players, pitcher Ivri Margolin and outfielder Uri Shani, remain on the roster from the 2019 squad.

The team is comprised of Aviv Bobrov (Misgav), Oren Bobrov (Misgav), Noah Cohen (IMG), Tomer Erel (Tel Aviv), Kai Friesem (Lev Hasharon), Jake Goodman (Tel Aviv), Ariel Lambert (Jerusalem), Nadav Machlin (Lev Hasharon), Ivri Margolin (Misgav), Noam Moore (Jerusalem), Akiva Moss (Jerusalem), Yedidya Rabinowitz (Jerusalem), Avinoam Sachs (Hashmonaim), Aviad Schechter (Ra’anana), Michael Segal (Modiin), Uri Shani (Tel Aviv), Dovid Solomon (Jerusalem) and Itai Spinoza (Fayetteville Manlius, NY).  

Michael Maiocco and Natan Bash are assistant coaches. Yoav Shani is the Team Manager and David Friesem is the Equipment Manager.

The games can be live streamed at www.baseballsoftball.tv.

Schedule

DATE

LOCATION

TIME

HOME

AWAY

July 5

Montegranaro

1200

Israel

Netherlands

July 6

Macerata

1100

Lithuania

Israel

July 8

Macerata

2100

Italy

Israel

July 9

Macerata

2100

Israel

France

July 10

TBD

TBD

TBD

TBD

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