Team USA Baseball Secures First Tokyo Olympics Win with Commanding Victory Over Israel
Team USA baseball defeated Israel in their debut game at the Tokyo Summer Olympics on Friday, winning 8-1.
The team got off to an early lead thanks in part to a 2-run homer by Tyler Austin in the third inning. Eddy Alvarez, who was one of Team USA's flag bearers during the opening ceremony, helped drive in another run in the seventh inning and went on to score after a double from Austin, bringing their score to 6-1.
The sole run for Israel came curtesy of Danny Valencia in the fourth.
This marks Team USA's fourth Olympic appearance and first in eight years, as baseball was not an Olympic event in the 2012 and 2016 Summer Games.
The U.S. won bronze back in 1996 and 2008 and went all the way at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, securing a shutout 4-0 win over Cuba.
Alvarez, who made his MLB debut in 2020 while playing for the Miami Marlins, previously opened up about the honor of serving as a flag bearer alongside basketball star Sue Bird.
"[It was] such an emotional moment for me, for my family, for my background," he told Today. "Just to get the honor to represent the United States of America, to hold the flag — the symbol of liberty, of freedom — my family came over to this country from Cuba in search of opportunity, and if it wasn't for them doing that, I wouldn't be in the position that I am now."
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Team USA's next game will be against South Korea — the defending gold medalist — on Saturday morning.
To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.