(JTA) — Israel ended its Cinderella run at the World Baseball Classic, after losing to Japan’s national team at home in Tokyo.
More than 40,000 fans packed the Tokyo Dome on Wednesday to cheer the home team to an 8-3 victory over Israel.
The game remained scoreless until the sixth inning when Japan scored five runs.
Israel won its first game in the second round of the quadrennial tournament against Cuba by a score of 4-1, and then dropped a rematch with the Netherlands, 12-2.
Japan, with a tournament record of 6-0, and the Netherlands will advance from Pool E to the finals in Los Angeles, and meet the top two teams from the Pool F games currently being played in San Diego.
Israel was the lowest-ranked team to qualify for the showcase tournament, coming in at 41st in the world.
The team appeared on the field at each game for the national anthem of Israel, Hatikvah, with matching blue kippot. The team mascot was a life-sized stuffed Mensch on a Bench.