Cramer pitching in Stanford uniform
Gabe Cramer of Israel's national baseball team pitched for Stanford University while he was a student there. (Courtesy/Corky Cramer)

Santa Rosa’s Cramer pitches as Israel wins World Baseball Classic opener

Santa Rosa’s Gabe Cramer pitched a scoreless inning of relief as Team Israel opened the World Baseball Classic with an upset, defeating host Korea 2-1 in extra innings.

Cramer, 22, a star at Stanford before being drafted by the Kansas City Royals, allowed one hit while pitching the sixth inning. Israel went on to win the game on a run-scoring infield single by Scott Burcham in the 10th inning in the game played Monday in Seoul.

Israel, making its WBC main draw debut, is ranked 41st in the world ratings while Korea is third. Next up for Israel is Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), ranked fourth in the world, in a game set for 7 p.m. Monday PST.

Burcham and Sam Fuld, a former Oakland Athletics outfielder, had two hits apiece for Israel in the win against Korea. Josh Zeid pitched the final three innings, allowing no runs on one hit and striking out four, to get the win.

Cramer, who had his bar mitzvah at Congregation Shomrei Torah, went to Camp Newman and participated in Hillel events at Stanford, came into the game with a man on first and no outs in the sixth inning. He got one out on a line drive to center fielder Fuld, allowed a single and then got out of the inning by inducing Kyoung-min Hur to ground into a double play.

Back in Santa Rosa, proud father Corky Cramer watched the game from 1:30 to 5 in the morning.

“Yeah, a good dad stayed up all night,” he said in an email.

Rob Gloster

Rob Gloster is J.'s senior writer. He can be reached at