Freiman slugs Israel to WBC qualifier win

Padre prospect homers twice to give blue-and-white first ever Classic victory.

By JERUSALEM POST SPORTS STAFF
September 21, 2012 04:14
2 minute read.
ISRAEL’S NATE FREIMAN hits home run

ISRAEL’S NATE FREIMAN hits home run 370. (photo credit: Guy Feld/courtesy)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Powered by two home runs from Nate Freiman, Israel built a 7-0 lead en route to defeating South Africa, 7-3, in the first game of the World Baseball Classic’s qualifying round on Wednesday in Jupiter, Florida.

Freiman, who plays minor league Class AA baseball for the San Diego Padres organization, went yard in the first and ninth innings.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


“It’s the most people I’ve ever represented wearing a jersey and I’m willing to bet for most people on the team, it’s the same way,” Freiman said after the round-opening win.

“You could see the energy in the crowd.”

Team Israel, who had hoped to employ MLB stars such as Ryan Braun, Kevin Youkilis and Ian Kinsler, was forced to stock its roster with mostly minor-leaguers like Freiman after the qualifiers were moved up to September, as the Major League season is still proceeding.

“Once the qualifier was moved to September as opposed to November, in my mind, [Freiman] was our three- or four-hole hitter,” Israel manager Brad Ausmus said.

South Africa’s starting pitcher Dylan Unsworth allowed just five hits while striking out six over six innings, drawing high praise from Ausmus and the rest of his crew, but Team Israel’s pitchers, including starter Eric Berger, stifled South Africa’s lineup for most of the night.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


“He came right at us,” Ausmus said of Unsworth.

“He threw strikes. He wasn’t intimidated.

“It was a very tight ballgame for the great majority of it.”

Reliever Josh Zeid kept the momentum in Israel’s favor. Zeid, who played this year with Double-A Corpus Christi in the Astros organization, entered in the bottom of the sixth with runners at second and third with one out, a onerun lead and the heart of South Africa’s lineup due up.

Zeid struck out three-hole hitter Jonathan Phillips, intentionally walked Shannon Ekermans and induced an infield popout from Brett Willemburg to escape the jam and allow the entire Israeli roster to breath a sigh of relief.

“Huge difference. Not only is it a big difference in terms of the scoreboard, it could be a big momentum shift,” Ausmus said.

“Zeid’s inning-plus there was probably the turning point of the game for us.”

Israel will face next against either Spain or France tonight, and the winner of the four-team bracket advances to the next phase of the international tournament in March 2013.

If Israel advances past the qualifying round, several current Jewish MLB stars may join the team, including Youkilis, Braun, and Kinsler.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

dudi sela
August 31, 2014
Sela steamrolled by Dimitrov

By ALLON SINAI