Israel's surprising 4-0 start in the World Baseball Classic has caught the attention of many.
And if area baseball fans catch a glimpse of the team, they'll see a familiar face.
Former Buffalo Grove standout Zach Borenstein is playing right field for Israel, which has now moved into the second round.
After three straight wins to top Pool A in Seoul, Israel opened Pool E at the Tokyo Dome on Sunday with a 4-1 win over Cuba.
A win in either of Israel's remaining games, against the Netherlands and Japan, could send the underdog team to Dodger Stadium for the semifinals.
Borenstein's single in the sixth proved to be the game-winning RBI as it gave Israel the lead for good at 2-1.
"We've been looking forward to this the whole offseason," Borenstein said on the MLB website story. "We have something to prove. Our goal is to win the last game of the tournament."
Israel got off to a 3-0 start with upset wins over South Korea (2-1 in extra innings), Taiwan (15-7) and highly-regarded Netherlands (4-2), in which Borenstein had a key RBI.
Israel entered the tourney ranked 41st in the world, the lowest ranked and last team to qualify.
The left-handed hitting Borenstein, who is in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization (Reno Aces), batted .524 as a senior in the Mid-Suburban League.
As a junior in 2007, Borenstein's Bison, directed by retired coach John Wendell, enjoyed the best postseason in school history, advancing to the Elite Eight.
Former Elk Grove star Diamond Boyd has finished her college career with a stellar title -- Midwest Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Year.
The Grenadiers former 1,000-point scorer is a repeat WMC first-team selection, and joins Camille Marie (2012-13) as the only Ram to earn 'Player of the Year' in program history.
Boyd is Cornell's first student-athlete to be named Conference 'Player of the Year' in two team sports in the same academic year.
She also earned the league's top volleyball award in the fall.
The 5-foot-10 forward made her presence felt on both ends of the basketball court with a MWC-best 11 double-doubles, the most by a Cornell player since 2004-05 (Melanie Manz, 12).
She led the MWC in rebounding (9.0 rpg) and steals (3.1 spg), while ranking third in scoring with a team-high 14.6 points per game.
Boyd led the Rams in field goal percentage (48.2), free throws made (73) and steals (78). She came within 5 steals of her own single-season school record set in 2015-16. She also totaled 44 assists and 20 blocked shots while starting all 25 games.
Boyd topped the 20-point mark six times, including a career-best 32 at home against Knox. She recorded 12 double-digit rebounding games, highlighted by 18 boards at Grinnell.
In only three seasons, Boyd stands in Cornell's career top-10 in eight statistical categories. Her 191 steals are third-most all-tie and her 892 points rank tenth.
• Oakton Community College sophomore guard Mallory Gonzalez (Prospect) earned first team recognition in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference.
Gonzalez played in 16 games for the Owls, earning regional player of the week honors in February. She averaged 17.3 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, shooting 42.1 percent from the field (96-228). She also blocked 21 shots during the season.
"Mallory was a great scorer for us," Coach Rauschenberg said in the school' news release. "She was able to get herself to the basket at any time and hit the 3-point shot. She has high basketball intelligence and was able to create situations for her teammates to be successful as well."
Carthage College sophomore first baseman Hailey Rothstein (Conant) has been named to the Schutt Sports/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III Player of the Year Top 50 list.
Rothstein led the College Conference of Illinois of Wisconsin and tied a Carthage single-season record last season with 41 runs batted in.
She concluded her freshman campaign with a .353 batting average, 41 hits, 7 home runs and a .603 slugging percentage.
At first base, she registered only 1 error and recorded 183 putouts, good enough for a .995 fielding percentage.
Rothstein's performance last season landed her to the 2016 CCIW Newcomer of the Year, 2016 All-CCIW First Team, and NFCA First Team All-Great Lakes Region.
Illinois junior David Kendziera (Prospect) placed fourth in the 60-meter hurdles and earned first team All-America honors at NCAA Indoor Championships.
It was Kendziera's fourth All-America honor as the Illini placed 30th overall in the 62-team field.
After timing 7.76 in the semifinal, Kendziera registered the second fastest time of his career, 7.73, to finish fourth in the 60-meter hurdles final. It's the fourth All-America honor for the hurdler and his first in that particular event.
The fourth-place finish also ties the second best finish in program history, tying Jim Hanion (1976) and Andrew Riley (2012). Riley also owns the best finish in program history, as the four-time all-American won the NCAA title in College Station as a junior in 2011.
Illinois State sophomore Shannon Felde (Schaumburg) collected 2 RBI apiece in wins over Fordham (7-6 in 8 innings) and Fairfield (5-3) at the FAU Parents' Weekend Tournament. She was 3-for-3 against Fairfield.
Augustana senior Dana Goggin (Buffalo Grove) was named the player of the week in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin as she finished her spring break trip to Orlando, Fla. with a 10-0 record.
She was 4-0 at No. 1 doubles with sophomore teammate Caitlyn Schaffer (Kenwood Academy of Chicago) against Otterbein (8-3), Hanover (8-2), Adrian (8-2) and Wartburg (8-2).
Goggin and her twin sister Lauren (Buffalo Grove) were 1-0 at No. 1 doubles with a win over the University of Mary (8-4) on the final day of the trip.
Dana was 5-0 at No. 2 singles as she beat Otterbein's Makayla Sutter (6-2, 6-2), Hanover's Meghan Farrell (7-6, 6-1), Adrian's Victoria Watson (6-0, 6-1), Wartburg's Hannah Fox (6-1, 6-0) and the University of Mary's Lucia Bolibruch (6-2, 6-2).
Dana has a career record of 176-64 overall in her time at Augustana while her sister Lauren is 174-74.
Lewis sophomore Colin Williams (Elk Grove) was part of the 400-yard freestyle relay that finished with a time of 3:01.47 in the preliminaries at the NCAA swimming championship in Birmingham, Ala., where the Flyers finished the meet 27th with 12 points.
Lewis sophomore right fielder Brandan Post (Elk Grove) picked up a pair of hits and scored a run in a Flyers' 10-2 loss to Findlay. Post also had 3 hits in a 13-4 victory over Walsh University.
Holy Cross forward Danny Lopez of Barrington Hills was named a semifinalist for the Walter Brown Award which is issued to the top American-born player currently playing for a New England-based institution.
Atlantic Hockey has had one winner of the Walter Brown Award, Bentley's Brett Gensler in 2012.
In February, Lopez was tied for fourth in Atlantic Hockey in scoring after 28 games when he had 30 points. He was tied for the conference lead in goals with 17 and leading the league and the NCAA, in power-play goals with 12.
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