Japan has reached the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic in all three previous tournaments, and it can continue that streak with a win over Israel when the two teams clash at the Tokyo Dome on Wednesday.
Japan turns to right-hander Kodai Senga looking stay undefeated in WBC ’17. In the first round of the classic, Senga picked up the win against Australia, allowing just one hit over two innings while striking out four. In a victory over the Netherlands on Sunday, the 24-year-old hurler also threw two scoreless innings
Israel is hoping to rebound from its first loss of the Classic, a 12-2 defeat to the Netherlands on Monday. Josh Zeid will however get the start and also attempt to cool Japan’s bats. In the classic thus far, the right-hander has been used as a reliever and is 1-0 with two saves in six scoreless innings.
Japan can ensure it advances to the semifinals with a victory, but Israel can force a tiebreaker if it can hand the Japanese their first loss of the tournament, as both teams would be 2-1.