WBSC Americas, Asia and Europe to be represented in Finals of World Baseball Classic 2017

TOKYO – Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) star Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh hit a home run and scored twice as Japan defeated Israel, 8-3, to win the World Baseball Classic second-round group stage at the Tokyo Dome.

It was top-ranked Japan’s sixth-straight win in the global tournament, and with Israel’s loss, No. 9 Netherlands will join group-winners Japan in the semi-finals at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Japan’s win before 43,179 fans at the Tokyo Dome was among the hottest trending topics in Japan Wednesday night, as fans took to Twitter to show their pride and celebrate the news.

Israel, who registered victories over four Top 10 nations, exits the world championship, but its No. 41 ranking is set to jump when the new WBSC Baseball World Rankings are released.

Six nations remain in contention for the World Baseball Classic world championship crown, as 10 nations have been eliminated. The Finals round will have representatives from three of WBSC’s Continental Confederations: America (COPABE), Asia (BFA) and Europe (CEB).