(photo credit: Courtesy)
Canada and the US will play in the 18th Maccabiah baseball gold medal game 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Sportek in Tel Aviv after winning their semifinal games against Israel and Mexico, respectively. The US, which won the title bout against their Northern brethren four years ago, is 2-0 against Canada in the tournament and has outscored them by 24 runs in their head-to-head matchups.
In Monday's first semi, Canadian pitcher Ross Olshansky could have beaten Israel all by himself, as Team Canada cruised to a 12-2 victory to advance to the championship game.
Olshansky pitched a complete game, allowing two runs while striking out 11 batters. He also hit a home run, two doubles, three RBI and scored two runs.
The score was just 1-0 for the Canadians after two innings, until they exploded for an eight-run third inning to put the game away.
Israel head coach Craig Dunning said his team made a lot of mistakes, but that it can't let that affect them heading into Tuesday's 10 a.m. bronze medal game against Mexico.
And despite the errors and miscues, Dunning said this year's Maccabiah team - and Israeli baseball at large - has made great strides since the last games in 2005.
"This is the first time an Israeli team has won a game at Maccabiah. If things work out, we'll have four wins, four losses," said Dunning, whose team beat Mexico twice and Canada once during the tournament.
"We've got a ways to go, but each year we're taking steps toward it."
The team Israel will try to emulate is the US, which crushed Mexico 17-0 in Monday's other semifinal.
The game began as a low-scoring affair as the US batsman struggled against Mexico's soft-tossing pitchers. US head coach Denny Weiner held a team meeting in the middle of the third inning with the US ahead 3-0.
It seemed to have done the trick as the US went out and had a 14-run third inning. Uncle Sam has shown its baseball might during this tournament by going 7-0, smacking its opponents for 138 runs while surrendering 14.
Weiner believes Tuesday's championship game will be entertaining because of the history between the two nations.
"What you're going to see is two hungry ball clubs," Weiner said. "This rivalry goes back a long way."