Israel still unbeaten in World Baseball Classic debut after victory over Taiwan

Israel's starting pitcher Jason Marquis throws against South Korea during their first round game of the World Baseball Classic at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul South Korea Monday

With the team from the Netherlands yet to play its first game, Israel has already beaten two of its three rivals in the first round, South Korea (2-1) and Teipei. A good example is Lotte Giants pitcher Chong Tae-hyon, who played a key role on the team from the 2000 Sydney Olympics to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where Korea won gold in the sport.

The World Baseball Classic's top underdog story rolls on, as Israel looks like a lock to advance out of Pool A play following Tuesday's 15-7 pounding of Chinese Taipei. Those two teams will now face off on Wednesday night at 10 p.m. ET, but even if Israel falters against the Dutch, those two wins should be enough to get the team through to the second round in Tokyo. Dutch batter Didi Gregorius eventually lined a double off the Taiwanese pitcher to make it a 5-5 game. Ranked 41 in the world, this team is determined to prove itself on the biggest stage possible. The double-elimination part of the tournament will be in Tokyo and Petco Park in San Diego, California, with the championship game taking place in Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

"It's been a ideal trip in every regard". Here in the United States, we treat it differently in that we play music and various noises before the game, between innings, and after the game, but hardly any noise is ever made when a player steps up to take an at bat or while they are completing an at bat.

Most of the baseball players representing Israel are Jewish Americans, with only two members of the team possessing Israeli passports.

"I tried getting him a first-class ticket", Decker said. "The style of play, the urgency of tournament baseball, and the stage are foreign to me and many of my teammates, but clearly we have been a quick study".

Pool A offered some mild surprises in round one, most notably Israel advancing with relative ease in their first WBC berth.

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The game was not broadcast on any of Israel's major television channels or sports channels. However, Israel hit four RBI singles that boosted their lead to 11-3, almost enacting the WBC's mercy rule.

Team Israel was not supposed to get this far. Chinese Taipei's offense came roaring back in the later innings, showing that Israel isn't invincible.

Numerous players had never been to Israel prior to signing with the team. "It's not as big as we'd like, and I think we can maybe change that with what we're doing".

Israel set the tone for the entire game with a four-run first inning. The Taiwanese bullpen was unable to hold the lead as the Netherlands scraped across two runs in the final two innings. The game ended after an extra inning where Lim Chang-yong allowed a single run to shortstop Scott Burcham. However, it should be noted that Israel's best reliever in this game was Josh Zeid as he pitched three scoreless innings earning the win while striking out four.

Australia had a chance to break things open in the fifth inning when they loaded the bases with one out.

As noted, former A's prospect Rickles got am RBI on a pinch-hit single in the eighth inning.

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