Israel makes its first-ever appearance at a World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament on Wednesday, when it will take on South Africa in Jupiter, Florida. Given their talent, the blue and white will be a huge disappointment if they fail to qualify.
Israel is part of Qualifying Group 1 with South Africa, Spain and France. Three other qualifiers will be held between September and November. Two teams from each qualification bracket play in the championship round in San Francisco in March.
Historically, South Africa has had a strong squad, winning the gold medal in the All-Africa Games in 2003. They have a strong middle infield, with prospects Anthony Phillips (Seattle Mariners ) and Gift Ngoepe (Pittsburgh Pirates ) leading the way.
Israel comes in with high expectations and plenty of fan support.
For more, go to Haaretz.com
Israel Prepares for S. Africa in Baseball Classic