Team Israel fell to the Netherlands 12-2 Monday in its second quarterfinal matchup of the World Baseball Classic. The team's undefeated, Cinderella run ended on the early termination rule after Israel failed to close a 10-run gap in the bottom of the eighth inning. The two teams are tied in the bracket now at 1-1 each.
Dutch starter Jair Jurrjens, who pitched almost his entire allowed pitch count at 74 throws and six innings, will record the win. Israel's Corey Baker will record a loss. Israel played eight pitchers, keeping the bullpen fresh ahead of its next matchup against host Japan on Wednesday.
Japan (1-0 on an 11-inning victory over Netherlands) meets Cuba (0-1 after losing to Israel in the opener) on Tuesday. Netherlands also has a day off Tuesday, facing Cuba on Wednesday.
Undaunted by their extra innings loss to Japan the evening before, Netherlands came out for their second try at Team Israel looking focused. The Dutch squad stepped out to an early lead in the second inning with a two-RBI single and never looked back.
Israel had no answer for designated hitter Didi Gregorious's bat, as the Yankees' shortstop hit an RBI triple in the top of the third and a three-run homer in the fourth inning. Several other Dutch bats were damaging as well, as Cincinnati Reds' catcher Shawn Zarraga RBI banged out a double to bring Gregorious home in the third. Three other Netherlands players, Andrelton Simmons, Yurendell de Caster and Japan crowd favorite Wladimir Balentien each had three hits.
First baseman Nate Freiman put Israel on the board with a one-run homer in the bottom of the fourth. Left fielder Blake Gailen accounted for Israel's only other run in the seventh inning, staving off the early determination for one more inning.
Team Israel's fate in the quarterfinal round hangs on the Tuesday game. If Cuba takes out Japan on Tuesday, all four teams will hold 1-1 records and the winners of both Wednesday games will advance to the semi-final round at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles with 2-1 records.
If Japan wins and goes ahead to a 2-0 record and Israel beats the hosts on Wednesday, tiebreaker rules could apply.
Israel's loss at the Tokyo Dome will haunt the team then as Monday's huge scoring gap comes into play. Tied teams will be ranked according to fewest runs allowed divided by the number of innings (including partial innings) played.
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