S. Korea Beats Japan to Reach WBC Semifinals
Reigning Olympic champion South Korea defeated its archrival Japan 4-1 to advance to the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic in San Diego, Calif, Tuesday.
The South Korean team scored three in the first inning on a two-run single by Lee Jin-young, while Japan managed to score one run in the top of the fifth inning.
With the victory, South Korea joined Venezuela and the United States in booking a berth in this weekend's semifinals in Los Angeles.
South Korean starter Bong Jung-keun walked three and struck out one but gave only one run during 5 1/3 innings. He led the impressive 1-0 win in the second game against Japan in the regional round held in Tokyo last week.
South Korea attacked Japanese starter Yu Darvish for three runs off three hits and an error in the first inning.
Lee Yong-kyu opened with a single to left, stole second base, took third on Jeong Keun-woo's single and scored on a fielder's choice by Kim Hyun-soo that did not result in an out thanks to a drop by Japan shortstop Yasuyuki Kataoka, according to AFP.
Kim Tae-kyun walked to load the bases and Lee Jin-young followed with a two-run single that gave the Koreans a 3-0 lead.
Japan, which routed South Korea 14-2 and lost 1-0 to its archrival in first-round games at Tokyo, must now face Cuba in San Diego Wednesday to decide the final qualifier for the final four at Dodger Stadium. The Japanese team blanked Cuba 6-0 Sunday in a second-round opener.