There will be a third European team joining the Netherlands and Italy in the World Baseball Classic. That will be Spain. They pulled a big upset with their 9-7 10 inning win over favored Israel. Ranger prospect Engel Beltre got the tenth inning rally started with a walk. The Israeli catcher disagreed with the call and was ejected from the game. Paco Figuroa was hit by pitch so the first two hitters now stood at first and second, something the international rules would have already accomplished without the excitement. Rafael Alvarez laid down a bunt to put the two runners in scoring position. After a Barbaro Canizares ground out Yunesky Sanchez slipped a single up the middle to score two runs.
Israel still had a chance in the bottom frame with Nate Freiman leading off the tenth inning. He grounded out. A walk to Rob Widlansky put the tying run at the plate. Ivan Granados was able to retire the last two hitters to preserve the save. The bedlam in Jupiter began.
Cuban born Yunesky Sanchez whacked four hits for Spain, driving in three runs and scoring twice. Spain had four players in their starting lineup born in Cuba (Barbaro Canizares, Yunesky Sanchez, Adrian Nieto and Yasser Gomez). They also had two of their relief pitchers born in Cuba (Remigio Leal and Eduardo Morlan).
Israel slugger Nate Freiman could only muster one hit in five at bats, two of them walks. The last time Israel played Spain Freiman mashed two 2-run homers to beat Spain 4-2.
There were 4,400 that attended the game, which is a good turnout for a Florida State League game.
In the qualifier in Germany the hosts mashed Great Britain for the second time 16-1. The first two hitters in the German lineup Eric Suttle and Matthew Vance scored five times without benefit of a hit. Top Phillies prospect Aaron Altherr hit a 2-run homerun in the fifth inning and Matt Weaver a 3-run homer in the seventh. For Matt it was his second homerun of the tournament. Another Cuban, Enorbel Marquez threw a 2-hitter for Germany, giving up only an unearned run in seven innings of work.
Baseball American shows Altherr born in Landstuhl, Germany, while the mlb sight shows him born in Arizona. It appears he was born in Germany to a military family. Only 1,400 fans attended the semi-final game.