Backed by Connecticut stars, Team Israel earns second straight upset at World Baseball Classic

Weinstein (1) and Connecticut natives Ryan Lavarnway, Josh Zeid and Craig Breslow have helped Israel to a stunning sweep of Pool A at the World Baseball Classic. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Team Israel has been hot lately. The team, composed of Israelis and Americans of Israeli heritage, is 2-0 in pool play after defeating South Korea and Chinese Taipei the last two nights, respectively.

Their team includes some MLB players, like former Mets first baseman Ike Davis and former Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow, but is mainly comprised of American professional minor-leaguers, including Hamden Hall graduate and current New Britain Bees pitcher Josh Zeid.

Yale catcher Ryan Lavarnway also plays for the team, and Zeid and Lavarnway finished off Israel’s upset of South Korea on Day 1 of competition.

Notably, Jewish MLB players like L.A.’s Joc Pederson, Ryan Braun and Ian Kinsler skipped out of this year’s World Baseball Classic.

Major League Baseball free agent outfielder Sam Fuld has also been making noise for Team Israel. Unlike MLB stars preparing for the upcoming season next month, MLB free agents really have nothing to lose – it is just another opportunity for them to showcase their skills in an effort to get back to the bigs.

Israel is part of Pool A and is looking to advance to the WBC’s upcoming group stage.

Games are being televised on MLB Network and ESPN Deportes and are also available on MLB Network Radio. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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