The U.S. defeated Israel 8-1 Friday to begin play in the Olympic baseball tournament, with both teams’ rosters including players connected to San Diego.
Rightfielder Eric Filia – a Carlsbad native – had two of the 11 U.S. hits in the win and scored a run. Shortstop Nick Allen, a Francis Parker alum, also scored a run.
Joe Ryan, formerly of Cal State Northridge, won the game, allowing one run and five hits over six innings.
The U.S. roster also includes pitcher Edwin Jackson, who enjoyed a brief stint with the San Diego Padres in 2016.
The U.S. plays at 3 a.m. Saturday against South Korea in another opening-round game in Yokohama. The game will be streamed on NBCOlympics.com.
Right-handed pitchers Shlomo Lipetz and Alon Leichman, both former UC San Diego players, compete for Israel. They each pitched an inning against the U.S., with Lipetz giving up a run, and Leichman enjoying a scoreless outing.
Ian Kinsler, who finished his career in 2019 with the Padres, also is playing for Israel.
Israel began the Olympics with a 6-5 10-inning loss to South Korea Thursday. The team, at 0-2, faces an elimination game Sunday.
Nearly the entire Israel roster consists of Americans who became Israeli citizens under the nation’s Law of Return, which gives Jews the right to come and live in Israel and gain Israeli citizenship.
Israel qualified for the Olympics by winning the 2019 Europe/Africa continental tournament. The U.S. qualified by winning the Americas qualification event in Florida in June.
City News Service contributed to this report.