The Israeli Olympic baseball team defeated Mexico 12-5 in a historic win on Sunday morning.
This was the team's third game and first win in the Tokyo Olympics. Thanks to this win, the Israeli team will remain in the games and play at least two more times.
On Monday, Israel will face off against the winner of the South Korea vs. Dominican Republic game that will take place later Sunday. If Israel wins two more games, the team will have a chance at the gold. If it loses, it still has a shot at the bronze medal.
By the third inning, Israel already had a 6-0 lead over Mexico, thanks to three runs by Nick Rickles and another, the team's fourth in the games, by Danny Valencia.
Pitcher Josh Zeid handled the first two innings with ease before having a harder time in the third; Mexico scored two runs before Zeid was replaced by Jake Fishman. Troubles didn't end there, though – Fishman suffered two hits in a row, and the score rose to 6-4, putting a damper on Israel's strong start.
Mexico's luck ran out in the following two innings, but they rebounded in the sixth. Adrian Gonzales, the Mexican team's most distinguished member, formerly of the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers, narrowed the Israeli lead by a run as the score took at 6-5.
With his back to the wall, a one-run lead and two men on base, pitcher Zack Weiss managed to strike out two players and saved the day for the Israeli team.
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Later Blake Gailen sent Ian Kinsler to home plate and brought the score up to 7-5, Israel's first run after three scoreless innings. Mexico brought in pitcher Oliver Perez, one of the team's strongest and a former member of the Cleveland Indians.
Israel's Mitch Glasser was unfazed and managed to bring in two runs with his hit, bringing the score to 9-5. Zach Penprase sustained the momentum, bringing in two more runs, Scott Burcham secured his first hit in Tokyo. Israel took control of the game and did not let up until the end.
The Israeli team was defeated by the U.S. team 8-1 on Friday. Israel started strong, but the U.S. team started to overtake them in the second inning.
On Thursday, the Israeli team lost to South Korea in a 6-5 opening game that saw the country's first-ever Olympic home runs.