Israel’s Olympic baseball tournament came to an end after falling to the Dominican Republic 7-6 as Jose Bautista drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 9th to walk off with the victory and a date with the United States for a chance to move on to the Gold Medal game.
The Blue & White grabbed a 6-5 lead in the 8th thanks to a 2-run homerun by Danny Valencia but the Dominicans came back in the bottom in the 9th with a leadoff dinger by Johan Meises and a walk-off base hit by Jose Bautista to end Israel’s hopes of medaling in Tokyo.
With Josh Zeid starting the game, Israel gave up a pair of early runs on a couple of miscues in the field as the Dominican Republic pitcher Christopher Mercedes mowed down the Blue & White over the first four innings. However, hits by Mitch Glasser, Scott Burcham and Ian Kinsler all drove in runs to give Eric Holtz’s crew a 4-2 lead.
The Dominican Republic struck back in the bottom half of the 6th when top MLB prospect Julio Rodriguez and Johan Meises helped knot up the score at 4-4 while a Jeison Guzman dinger in the 7th inning gave them a 5-4 lead.
But as they’ve done on numerous occasions in the Olympics, Israel wasn’t down and out as Danny Valencia hit a huge 2-run homerun following a Kinsler single to retake the lead 6-5. However, a Meises dinger to lead off the bottom of the 9th and former Toronto Blue Jays all-star Jose Bautista drove in the winning run.\
Overall Israel went 1-4 in the tournament with Danny Valencia providing the majority of the offense and Josh Zeid anchoring the pitching staff that had trouble finding outs as the games came down to the wire.
One question that will remain is why pitcher Dean Kremer was not on the squad in Japan but that was because he was still on the Baltimore Orioles 40 man roster and was ineligible to play in the Olympics.
In Women’s Two-Person Dinghy 470 Sailing, the team of Noya Baram and Sachar Tibi advanced to the medal race by finishing in 6th and 13th places in races 9 and 10 respectively for 10th position overall. Although the pair will compete in the final race on Wednesday, they will not have an opportunity to win a medal due to the large point gap to the places on the podium.
Over in the pool, the Artistic Swimming duo of Eden Blecher and Shelly Bobritsky took part in the Technical Routine where a score of 83.858 gave them 15th place after having finished in 16th following the Free Routine on Monday. Their overall score of 168.49 wasn’t good enough to advance to Wednesday’s finals with only the top 12 teams moving on in the competition.
In Equestrian Jumping individual qualification, Ashlee Bond qualified as one of the top 30 for Wednesday’s final with a time of 82.84 on Donatello 141 as teammate Teddy Vlock’s time of 95.74 and 6 penalties on Amsterdam 27 eliminated him from the competition while Alberto Michan was disqualified after falling off of his horse Cosa Nostra.