For the first time since 2008, baseball is back on the Olympic stage.
Action for the six-team field begins at 11 p.m. Tuesday when the Dominican Republic faces host country Japan at the Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium. The United States begins its group play schedule at 6 a.m. Friday against Israel.
The field in Tokyo is initially broken up into two groups. Japan, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic is in Group A. The United States, Israel and South Korea is in Group B.
After the group stage, it’s four days of knockout rounds, which will narrow the field to four teams for the semifinals. Initial matchups in the knockout phase are determined by how each team finishes in group play. The bronze medal game is at 11 p.m. on Aug. 6. The gold medal game is at 6 a.m. on Aug. 7.
All games of the tournament will live streamed on the NBC Sports App or on NBCOlympics.com.
Local and Marlins ties in Olympic baseball field
▪ Team USA infielder Eddy Alvarez: The Miami native, Christopher Columbus High grad and Miami Marlins infielder prospect is attempting to become the sixth athlete to win a medal at both the Summer and Winter Olympics. He won silver in short-track speed skating at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
▪ Team Dominican Republic outfielder Emilio Bonifacio: The 36-year-old spent four seasons of his 12-year big-league career with the Marlins, from 2009 to 2012. He had a .271 batting average with 84 RBI, 103 stolen bases and 210 runs scored in 416 games in a Marlins uniform.
▪ Team USA infielder Triston Casas: Casas, a former Plantation American Heritage standout, is the top-ranked prospect in the Boston Red Sox organization and the No. 30 prospect in all of baseball, according to MLB Pipeline. The 21-year-old and 26th overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft is hitting .271 at the Double A level this year with 30 RBI and 33 runs scored over 46 games.
▪ Team Israel pitcher Jake Fishman: Fishman, a 26-year-old left-handed pitcher, signed a minor-league deal the Marlins organization last offseason and has spent the 2021 season with Triple A Jacksonville. Fishman has made 16 appearances (one start) for the Jumbo Shrimp, compiling a 4.25 ERA with 33 strikeouts against nine walks while holding opponents to a .202 batting average against over 29 2/3 innings. He was originally drafted in the 30th round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays.
▪ Team USA pitcher Nick Martinez: A Miami Belen Jesuit alumnus, Martinez made 88 MLB appearances (68 starts) from 2013-2017 with the Texas Rangers, who selected him in the 18th round of the 2011 MLB Draft. The right-handed pitcher has spent the last four seasons in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league.
▪ Team Israel infielder Danny Valencia: A former Miami Hurricanes standout, Valencia played in 864 career MLB games over nine seasons.
▪ Team Israel pitcher Ben Wanger: The 24-year-old right-handed pitcher played his final season of college baseball at the University of Miami in 2021. He only appeared in eight games for the Hurricanes, missing two months due to an elbow injury.
Olympic baseball schedule
Note: All times listed below are Eastern. Japan is 13 hours ahead.
▪ July 27: Dominican Republic vs. Japan, 11 p.m.
▪ July 29: Israel vs. South Korea, 6 a.m.; Mexico vs. Dominican Republic, 11 p.m.
▪ July 30: USA vs. Israel, 6 a.m.; Japan vs. Mexico, 11 p.m.
▪ July 31: South Korea vs. USA, 6 a.m.
▪ July 31: Group A third place vs. Group B third place, 11 p.m. (Game 1)
▪ Aug. 1: Group A second place vs. Group B second place, 6 a.m. (Game 2)
▪ Aug. 1: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 11 p.m. (Game 3)
▪ Aug. 2: Group A first place vs. Group B first place, 6 a.m. (Game 4)
▪ Aug. 3: Game 3 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 6 a.m. (Game 5)
▪ Aug. 3: Game 5 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 11 p.m. (Game 6)
▪ Aug. 4: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 6 a.m. (Game 7)
▪ Aug. 5: Game 6 winner vs Game 7 loser, 6 a.m. (Game 8)
Bronze medal game
▪ Aug. 6: Game 6 loser vs. Game 8 loser, 11 p.m. (Game 9)
Gold Medal Game
▪ Aug. 7: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 6 a.m. (Game 10)