Israel Sweeps in Seoul, Shocking Baseball World

Australia's Luke Hughes rounds bases past China's starter

Alfredo Despaigne put Cuba up 1-0 with a solo home run in the second inning but Israel tied the game in the fourth on a double by Ryan Lavarnway that scored Ike Davis from first. But this week, they beat the Netherlands, South Korea and Chinese Taipei, all of which are ranked significantly higher.

Japan took a 5-1 lead in the third inning but the Netherlands tied it with four runs in the bottom of the frame, including a two-run homer by Wladimir Balentien.

Israel will next be in action on Saturday at 10 p.m. ET against Cuba in Tokyo. The team appeared on the field for the national anthem with matching blue kippot.

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After scoring another run in the 8th inning, Israel's team was in for a scare in the ninth and final inning when Cuba threatened with a bases-loaded jam. Unlike the rest of the teams in the Classic, who can use their national players in the different leagues for the tournament, the Castro government prohibits players who no longer live on the island to represent Cuba in global events.

The game marks the first time that American Jewish baseball players, including several current and former Major League Baseball players, are representing Israel in a world championship. World Baseball Classic rules state that players who are eligible for citizenship of a country may play on its team.

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