Japan rout Israel, advance to World Baseball Classic semi-finals

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Japan rout Israel, advance to World Baseball Classic semi-finals

After the Netherlands beat Cuba 14-1 earlier in the day, Israel knew that it would have to defeat Japan to maintain any chance of reaching the semifinals at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Israel centerfielder Sam Fuld hit a single in the first at-bat of the game, igniting hopes that the strategy would pay off. Fuld was the first of several runners however, stranded on base.

Team Israel saw its Cinderella run at the World Baseball Classic end with a loss to Japan in Tokyo. Jair Jurrjens picked up the win after striking out five and holding Israel to one run on five hits over six innings. They then coasted to an 8-3 victory to finish at the top of Pool E and complete an unbeaten run (6-0) through the first two rounds.

The Netherlands, who were knocked out in the semis in the last WBC tournament in 2013, benefited from another fine pitching performance from left-hander Diegomar Markwell. Entering the fourth inning, it seemed that the Netherlands already had enough runs, but they felt like adding more.

The second excellent team referred to by Weinstein was that of the Netherlands, which routed Israel 12-2 in just 8 innings on Monday. Although Ike Davis put his team on the board with an RBI single and Ryan Lavarnway doubled in two runs, Israel's comeback attempt fell short.

But Israel's tournament dreams came to a crashing end in the sixth inning when Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh pounded a home run to deep center field to key a five-run burst.

"I wasn't pleased with my batting in the first four games, " Yamada said.

"The State of Israel and the Foreign Ministry invest many resources into building relationships with many countries in the world where baseball is an important sport, like Japan, Latin America, China, Taiwan and others, and therefore Israel's success is not only an athletic success, but also a diplomatic success", he added.

On Sunday, in an unexpected victory against baseball heavyweights, Israel defeated Cuba 4-1 in the tournament's quarterfinal group.

The Venezuelans advanced despite allowing 35 runs in the first round, the third-highest mark in the history of the tournament.

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