Israel’s national team suffered its first setback at the World Baseball Classic on Monday, losing to the Netherlands in Tokyo.
Israel had won its first four games in the tournament, finishing Pool A in first place with a 3-0 record before surprising Cuba with a 4-1 win in their first game in the last eight on Sunday.
Another victory over the Netherlands would have put Israel on the verge of advancing to the last four at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
However, Monday’s lopsided defeat complicates Israel’s position, especially considering it faces favorite Japan in its final Pool E game on Wednesday.
Japan, which has a 1-0 record, plays Cuba on Tuesday. Israel and the Netherlands are tied at 1-1, with the Netherlands facing Cuba on Wednesday.
Israel, whose squad is built around MLB-affiliated Jewish Americans, had beaten the Netherlands 4-2 in Pool A action last week, but Monday’s contest unfolded very differently.
The Dutch took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning and added four more runs in both the third and the fourth innings to open a 10-0 gap from which Israel was never going to come back.
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