Olympic Tourney Day 7

Drama continued at Yokohama Stadium on Tuesday night as Israel faced its second elimination game and took a 6-5 lead in its see-saw battle with the Dominican Republic before falling, and exiting the tournament in 5th place.

Dominican Republic 7, Israel 6

At Yokohama Stadium: Jose Bautista singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth after Johan Mieses homered to open the inning and tie it en route to the fourth lead change of the night.

Israeli errors contributed to the Dominicans’ first two runs. C.C. Mercedes of the Yomiuri Giants worked a 1-2-3 first. Emilio Bonifacio opened the home half with a bunt double, went to third on a throwing error and scored on a sacrifice fly.

With runners on first and second with no outs in the third, catcher Ryan Lavarnway’s errant pickoff throw to first scored the runner from second to make it 2-0. Israel escaped trouble with the help of a successful pickoff throw, setting the tone for this wild game.

A one-out error and a walk gave Israel an opening in the fourth, but Bautista limited the damage on the second one-out single by gunning down Nick Rickles at the plate for his second outfield assist of the tournament.

Mercedes, who allowed one run over seven innings in the tournament opener against Japan, then surrendered a double to Mitch Glasser and an RBI single to Scotty Burcham. After a balk moved the runner to second, Mercedes left the mound, and Jhan Martinez surrendered an RBI single to Ian Kinsler, giving Israel a 4-2 lead.

Jake Fishman walked the first two batters he faced in the sixth and both scored as the Dominicans tied it 4-4, and Jeison Guzman homered off Zack Weiss as the D.R. made it 5-4 in the seventh.

Kinsler singled in the eighth of Jose Diaz and Danny Valencia hit a two-run homer to put Israel up with six outs needed to end it. But Melky Cabrera, who’s had a quiet tournament so far, followed Mieses’ homer with a single, giving the Dominicans the base runner they’d need to survive and fight another day.

On Wednesday

The United States will play its second quarterfinal, against the Dominicans in the afternoon, with the winner moving up to a semifinal, and the loser going home.

In the evening, Yoshinobu Yamamoto will start for Samurai Japan against its nemesis, South Korea. Japan’s win over the U.S. on Monday was its first win against the Americans in the Olympics since 1996, which was also the last time Japan registered an Olympic win over South Korea.

Although Japan has shown signs of the fatal jitters that have plagued it in the past against the U.S. and South Korea, I think this time there are differences.

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