Israel beats Spain, one win away from qualifying for World Baseball Classic


First baseman Nate Freiman hit two home runs as Israel beat Spain 4-2 in the qualifying round of World Baseball Classic, putting the Isaeli team one win away from a guaranteed spot in the tournament in March.

Nate Freiman, a standout first baseman for the San Diego Padres' Class AA San Antonio Missions, matched his home run output from Thursday's 7-3 victory over South Africa, accounting for Israel's 4 RBIs on Friday afternoon.

In the modified double-elimination format, Spain will play the winner of Friday night's matchup between France and South Africa on Saturday. Israel will face off against the winner of that game in Sunday's championship game.

Max Fried, 18, drafted by Padres


Max Fried, an 18-year-old high school graduate from Los Angeles, was selected by the San Diego Padres in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft.

Fried, a left-handed pitcher, was chosen seventh overall in Monday’s draft.

The teen, who wore the number 32 at Harvard-Westlake High School in honor of Jewish Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax, told the Los Angeles Times that Koufax is his baseball hero. His curveball is also similar to Koufax’s.

Fried was a member of the 2009 gold medal-winning USA 18th World Maccabiah Juniors baseball team.

The newspaper predicts that it will take about $3 million to sign Fried, who had committed in November to play for UCLA.