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March 7, 2017

Ike Davis

Ryan Lavarnway

Seoul, Korea

Israel - 15, Chinese Taipei - 7

Q. For either of you, after yesterday, I know there was some frustration leaving guys on base and not pushing runs across, how important was it to get out of the gate in a hurry and put up the 4 spot you did in the first inning?
IKE DAVIS: Just starting the tournament off, I think there's some nerves and jitters, and obviously we haven't played too many games so far this year. So I mean, if you really look at the game yesterday, we had a lot of bad breaks with guys in scoring position. We had a lot of line drives caught. We hit the ball a lot better than the scores showed the first night. Like baseball, eventually going to start falling, and I think today was the showing of that.

RYAN LAVARNWAY: I just also think it was important, because last night was such an emotional game and a stressful game; to get out of the gate with high energy and get on top early, so that was good.

Q. I would like to know what is the feeling on your trip to Israel. And you mentioned that you want to contribute and serve for baseball, so can you share with us about that?
IKE DAVIS: Yeah, when we got to take a trip to Israel a couple months ago, some of us had gone and some of hadn't. For me personally, I hadn't gone, and going there, it was really special.

Just the history of that area in Jerusalem with not every religion but three major religions coming out of that one little area, and all the stories that we've heard growing up and places. Just putting a place to a name, it was a really life changing experience.

You know, for us, or for me, this is a huge deal to help possibly maybe kick start baseball in Israel. It's not as big as we'd like, and I think we can maybe change that with what we're doing.

You know, if it's just a little bit and it just keep like snowballs a little bit over the years, I think that's a very big goal of mine, and I think some of the guys on the team.

Q. Ryan, can you talk about your trip to Israel, what that meant to you, as well?
RYAN LAVARNWAY: The trip was incredible, to be able to go there and get a feel for the people, taste the food, smell the air; just really get a feel for what we're representing here. Not only that, but also a lot of Jewish people in America have reached out to me and kind of said, you know, as a Jewish person, we don't have a lot of sports athletes to look up to or to root for.

So I know that it was a great experience to be able to go to Israel, and it was also great to know that American Jews, and just the whole Jewish culture is really behind us and really supporting us.

Q. The scouters from Korea, Taiwan and Japan are watching the players; does that give motivation to you?
IKE DAVIS: I think as a baseball player in general, you never know exactly where you're going to end up or how your career is going to go. So playing on a big stage like this, and getting a chance for more people to have eyes on you and maybe see something that they like, so you have more options and opportunities to play this game, is better in any case.

So it's not something we're thinking about or worrying about, but if that is the case, then it's only good things will come from that.

Q. I know the mascot is the Mensch. So can you explain about the meaning of the Mensch? And another question is: You're Jewish, so can you explain how that motivates you?
RYAN LAVARNWAY: The Mensch was kind of Cody Decker's doing. If you don't know what it is, in America, there's this thing called Elf on the Shelf that Christian families have around Christmastime where the Elf moves around the house, and it's supposedly watching to make sure the children are good little boys and girls.

The Mensch is the Jewish version of that around the holidays. Cody brought it around for the qualifier, and it started out as a joke, but we all enjoyed it and it's turned into our mascot. Cody is the class clown of the team, and he keeps it light and we have fun with it.

IKE DAVIS: And he's a pretty good looking dude.

Q. How does being a Jew motivate you?
IKE DAVIS: Just growing up, being Jewish, my mom is Jewish, and half my family is Jewish. So being able to represent my mom and our ancestors, and all the struggles that our family, for being Jewish, have gone through. I think that it's a pretty surreal experience just to be able to get out and possibly bring some attention to Jewish people and give hope to young kids that potentially want to be professional athletes or collegiate athletes or anything like that.

RYAN LAVARNWAY: Speaking to some of our Jewish people that have reached out over part of this tournament, two generations ago, the way that this team was put together, would have meant that we were being killed. It was, I mean, we were being picked out, just because of the way that we were born and our lineage.

To be two generations later, for us do be able to stand up here, and have the Israel flag and Jewish star hanging in the stadium, it just means that we're here. You could think of it, that it's just a baseball tournament, but to a lot of people around the world, it means a lot more than that; that we're here, that we're competing in a sport on the highest level, and we have the right to be here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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