Israel advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2021 European Championships after a convincing 11-4 victory over Great Britain on Tuesday afternoon at Complesso Valter Aluffi in Settimo Torine, Italy. The boys in blue-and-white finished atop Group C with a 3-0 record and will face the Group D runner-up in the Quarterfinals on Thursday night.
“I have been with the team for like 15 years. We have gone from getting our asses kicked in the B pool to finally getting into the A pool to being a number one seed into the quarterfinals of the A pool,” Manager Nate Fish said, “It has been an incredible journey. We used to dream about just making it into the A pool. The guys are playing great. All the credit goes to them. We started an 18-year-old kid today, Ivri, and he threw 3.1 of no-hit baseball. That is remarkable. We’re continuing to hit and play defense too. The guys are balling.”
There were many heroes for Israel in the game, including Jordan Petrushka and Assaf Lowengart, who each belted 2-run home runs; Ty Kelly and Ben Wanger, who each reached base 5 times and combined to score 5 runs, and teenage pitcher Ivri Margolin, who made his senior national team debut and struck out 4 in 3.1 no-hit innings.
Veteran Orr Gottlieb came in relief of Margolin and struck out 3 in 2.2 innings. D.J. Sharabi and Itai Goldner, who started the game as the DH, each threw a scoreless inning of relief, too. Sharabi was credited as the winning pitcher.
Lowengart, who blasted a pair of 3-run homers in Monday's win over France, picked up where he left off with a second-inning double to bring home Wanger and open the scoring. Israel tacked on 2 more runs that inning when Tal Erel drove in Lowengart, and Goldner came in to score on a throwing error.
Petrushka made it 5-0 with a home run to left-center field in the third inning. Great Britain got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth after two walks and two balks, but Israel kept going in the fifth with Lowengart's home run for an 8-1 lead, from which the British never recovered.