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Blue-and-white gets hot in Florida

September 23, 2012 06:35

First baseman Nate Freiman hit two home runs for a second straight game as Israel beat Spain 4-2.

First baseman Nate Freiman

Firstbaseman Nate Freiman 370 . (photo credit:Guy Peled)

First baseman Nate Freiman hit two home runs for a second straight game as Israel beat Spain 4-2 in the qualifying round of the World Baseball Classic on Friday, putting the blue-and-white one win away from a guaranteed spot in the tournament in March.

Freiman, a standout first baseman for the San Diego Padres’ Class AA San Antonio Missions, matched his home run output from Thursday’s 7-3 victory over South Africa, accounting for Israel’s 4 RBIs in Jupiter, Florida.

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In the modified double-elimination format, Spain will play the winner of the matchup between France and South Africa on Saturday.

Israel will face off against the winner of that encounter in Sunday’s championship game.

“Baseball’s just a game where you have enough at-bats over enough time, good things will happen and bad things will happen.

It’s good to see the ball,” said Freiman, who has driven in six of of Israel’s 11 runs in its two wins in Florida.

Just three players on the national team are Israeli-born and raised, with 25 others being Jewish-Americans playing in the minor leagues, mostly in Double-A.

Any player eligible for Israeli citizenship is allowed to play for the blue-and-white.

Justin Schumer of the Giants High-A San Jose San Francisco Giants got the win for Israel with 5.2 innings, allowing only one unearned run and six hits.

JTA contributed to this report.
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