Israel Baseball advanced to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo by defeating South Africa 11-1 to win the Europe/Africa Qualifying Tournament in Italy.
With wins over Spain, Italy and the Netherlands, Israel needed to win one of their final two games against the Czech Republic or South Africa. On Saturday night, the Blue & White fell to the Czechs setting up a win and you’re in date with South Africa on Sunday.
— Israel Sports Rabbi (@thesportsrabbi) September 22, 2019
Israel got off to a terrific start by scoring 4 runs in the second inning on just one base hit, an infield single while former Major Leaguer and Baltimore Oriole Danny Valencia’s 8th inning 3-run homerun set up an early ending to the game due to the 10 run lead rule in the bottom half of the 8th.
Reliever Zachary Weiss got the first two outs before turning the ball over to the only native born Israeli on the team Shlomo Lipetz to record the final out which set off the celebrations for the Blue & White.
All of the players on the Israeli team are citizens of the country and hold Israeli passports, but now the task for General Manager and President Peter Kurz will be to try and recruit some of the top Jewish players in Major League Baseball to join forces with Israel and participate in next summer’s Olympic Games.
However, it should be noted that the games take place during the regular season and it would be very difficult to nearly impossible to convince the Dodgers and Joc Pederson to take time off to head to Japan.