Israel loses bid to play in World Baseball Classic

Israel failed to advance to the World Baseball Classic, losing 9-7 to Spain in the final game of the qualifying round.

Spain scored twice in the 10th inning of the Sept. 23 game in Jupiter, Fla., and advances to the WBC in March, despite having the same number of losses as Israel in the double-elimination tournament.

Some 1,500 Jewish fans were in the stands for the game. Shwarma and falafel were sold, and the organ piped out “Hava Nagila” when a member of Team Israel came to bat.

Israel had won its first two games of the qualifier, defeating South Africa and Spain behind two home runs in each game by Nate Freiman, a standout first baseman in the San Diego Padres’ organization. Spain beat France to make it to the final game against Israel.

Most of the Israeli squad’s 28-man roster was composed of Jewish minor leaguers, including three from the Oakland A’s and one from the San Francisco Giants. San Francisco’s Charlie Cutler, Mill Valley’s David Colvin and Palo Alto’s Joc Pederson also made the team, along with former major leaguers Shawn Green and Gabe Kapler and three Israeli pitchers. — jta