Israel’s men’s senior baseball team is seeking a repeat of its great 2014 success when it travels to Vienna, Austria, to compete in the European Championship B-Pool next week.
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The tournament commences Monday and runs through August 2.
Team Israel will compete against hosts Austria, as well as Poland, Belarus, Lithuania and Sweden. The winner of this year’s B-Pool will advance to next summer’s A-Pool, joining top European teams including the Netherlands, Italy and Germany.
Last year, Israel won the European Championships’ C-Pool by dominating all the teams in its group. This year, the team is touted to have a genuine chance of winning the B-Pool.
“We feel really good about our team,” said Israel Association of Baseball national director Nate Fish, who also plays short stop for the team. “There’s nothing left to do now but go to Vienna and play hard and try to win this thing,” he added.
Richard Kania, a Czech coach with an impressive record in European baseball, is the national team coach. Kania has been traveling to Israel every summer for the past five years to work with the national team.
Team Israel is made up of Israelis and North Americans with Israeli passports, including 19-year-old right-handed pitcher Dean Kremer, who was selected by the San Diego Padres in June during the 2015 Major League draft.
Israel’s men’s baseball team is currently ranked sixth in Europe and 19th in the world after an appearance in the 2012 World Baseball classic qualifier and its C-Pool win.