BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Former Sacramento State shortstop Scotty Burcham helped the Israeli national team reach the 2017 World Baseball Classic by winning a qualifying tournament over the weekend at MCU Park in Brooklyn.
Burcham, who plays professionally in the Colorado Rockies organization after being drafted by the team in 2015, started at shortstop in each of Israel's three games and hit 5-for-11 (.455) with a double and three runs scored.
Competing with Great Britain, Brazil, and Pakistan for the final qualifying spot in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, Burcham helped Israel defeat Great Britain, 5-2, on Thursday, beat Brazil, 1-0, on Friday, and beat Britain again, 9-1, in the championship game on Sunday. He was 3-for-4 with two runs scored in Sunday's championship win.
Burcham qualified to compete with team Israel as his mother is Jewish. He was one of 20 members on the Israeli roster that play for an MLB organization. Playing with the Asheville Tourists in Full-A ball last season Burcham hit .271 with 22 RBIs. He had a .636 batting average with five RBIs over the last five games of the season and continued that momentum onto the global stage.
Israel was the last of 16 nations to qualify for the 2017 World Baseball Classic, the fourth playing of the international tournament. Israel will play in Pool B in Seoul, beginning March 7 against host South Korea, Chinese Taipei and The Netherlands.
Burcham finished his collegiate career at Sacramento State in 2015 and left the Hornets ranked second in program history with 235 career hits. A four-year starter at shortstop, he is the all-time program leader with 844 career at-bats, is third in team history with 130 career runs, and is sixth with 40 career doubles.
An all-WAC second team selection as a senior, Burcham hit a career-best .329 with four homers and 33 RBIs in 2015, leading the WAC with 27 multi-hit games. He also hit .300 as a junior and for all four of his seasons with the Hornets he was among the top defensive players in the WAC. He started all but two Hornet games over his last three collegiate seasons.