Baseball fans amazed as 19-year-old Jacob Steinmetz strikes out Manny Machado and Jeremy Pena in World Baseball Classic: "Israel has a new hero" 

World Baseball Classic Pool D Workout Day
Jeremy Peña of Team Dominican Republic looks on during the World Baseball Classic.

The World Baseball Classic has had its share of feel-good moments over the years, and it just had another one.

A day after his team got mercy-ruled off the field by Puerto Rico, 19-year-old pitcher Jacob Steinmetz gave Team Israel and its fans a reason to cheer by striking out both Manny Machado and Jeremy Pena of Team Dominican Republic on Tuesday.

Steinmetz, a Queens, New York, native who was drafted in the third round in 2021 by the Arizona Diamondbacks, got the start against the pre-tournament favorite one day after Israel hit its low point of the WBC after not putting a single runner on base in a 10-0 loss to Team Puerto Rico.

Steinmetz gave up the game's first run in his opening inning, but not before sending Manny Machado down flailing with his first of his three strikeouts in the game. Then, to open the second inning, Steinmetz handcuffed Pena, the 2022 World Series Most Valuable Player, striking him out looking.

For good measure, Steinmetz claimed one more K, whiffing catcher Gary Sanchez before coming out of the game to a rousing ovation from Israeli players and fans.

No matter what team they were rooting for, baseball fans around the world took to Twitter to praise the accomplishment of a pitcher with just 12 professional games under his belt representing his ancestral home in the World Baseball Classic. Many hope to be seeing more of the young Steinmetz at the major league level in the future.

And while the rest of the baseball world celebrates a teenager's amazing and feel-good achievement, St. Louis Cardinals fans remain obsessed about their own little team that hasn't won a World Series since five years before the Chicago Cubs claimed their last title.

For the record, Machado launched a 440-foot home run in his next at-bat – his second of the tournament. As of Tuesday, Arenado has yet to launch a round-tripper in World Baseball Classic play.

While Steinmetz won't be joining this list as he's still deep down in the Diamondbacks' minor league system, it does show the depth of his achievement in striking out a pair of MLB stars – even if it was in the WBC and not an MLB game.

Team Israel nearing the end of its World Baseball Classic

Zack Gelof (18) and Joc Pederson of Team Israel high five after defeating Team Nicaragua.
Zack Gelof (18) and Joc Pederson of Team Israel high five after defeating Team Nicaragua.

The odds were stacked against Israel being drawn in the World Baseball Classic's "Group of Death" in Pool D. The group features not only the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, but also Team Venezuela – which hasn't lost yet in this year's tournament. Israel did claim a win, defeating Team Nicaragua on March 12, so it won't go home empty-handed.

And, of course, Steinmetz will have a life-long memory.

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein