It’s no surprise that the U.S. 18-and-under baseball team was expected to take gold at the Maccabiah. There are only three teams, and the others are Canada and Israel — not countries known for their diamond prowess. Meanwhile, the American nine had never lost in the quadrennial competition.
Few expected, however, that the U.S. would no-hit Canada twice — the first two no-nos in Maccabiah baseball history. The red, white and blue showed some prowess with the bats, too, beating the canucks 12-0 on Thursday and 14-0 this week.
The Americans’ fortunes have been more mercurial, though, in their games against Israel. The U.S. maintained its dominance with a 15-1 victory on Friday, but the home squad dealt a historic loss to the Americans, 5-3, on Tuesday.
On Friday, the U.S. will play for its anticipated gold. If the opponent is Canada, my money is on another shutout victory for the U.S. But if it’s Israel, all bets are off.