LG’s top outfield prospect Kim Bum-seok put on a show against Japan. He hit a double off the fence and a huge home run, but Korea lost to Japan.
South Korea’s baseball team, led by head coach Lee Jung-myung, lost 2-5 to Japan in the final game of the 30th Asian Baseball Confederation Super Round at the Taipei Dome in Taipei, Taiwan on Monday (Sept. 9).
The team, which is composed of young players, 23 out of 24 of whom are under the age of 23, professional beginners and amateur players, was looking to win the Asian Baseball Championship for the first time in eight years since 2015, but was unable to overcome the barrier of Japan’s social baseball (unemployed baseball) players who participated in the Hangzhou Asian Games.
Japan clinched a spot in the final by winning all three games of the Super Round, while South Korea, which went 1-2, will play the Philippines on Tuesday for third or fourth place.
The number of finalists remains to be seen.
If the Philippines wins the Chinese Taipei-Philippines game at 7:30 p.m., Korea, Chinese Taipei, and the Philippines will be tied at 2-2. Based on the head-to-head team quailty balance (TQB) metric between the three teams, South Korea can still advance to the finals, but the odds are in favor of Taiwan, which is playing at full strength.
South Korea’s starting lineup was Park Joo-chan (second base), Jeong Jun-jae (center field), 온라인카지노 Eu Eui-yeol (right field), Kim Bum-seok (first base), Na Seung-yeop (third base), Lee Sung-seok (designated hitter), Kim Sung-woo (catcher), Lee Min-joon (shortstop), and Jeong Jun-young (left field). The starting pitcher was left-hander Lee Byung-heon.
Byung-heon took the loss, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks with three strikeouts in three innings. After a scoreless second inning, Lee struck out Motoki Mugoyama and induced Masahiro Maruyama to ground out to first base with runners on first and second.
However, a five-pitch fastball to Ryosuke Aizawa at second and third became a one-base hit. The runner from third came home to score the go-ahead run. After walking Aizawa, Ryuga Ihara singled up the middle to put runners on second and third.
Lee had only thrown 52 pitches by the end of the third inning
But manager Shin Jung-myung activated his bullpen to start the fourth. However, reliever Woo Kang-hoon gave up a double to Ren Onishi in left-center and a walk to Hisaya Namoku with runners on first and third. Left-hander Jung Hyun-soo came on, but gave up back-to-back singles to Yukiya Yano and Motoki Mukoyama. After getting one out on a fly ball to left field, Jeong gave up a single to load the bases, forcing another pitching change. Cho Byung-hyun grounded out to shortstop to end the inning and avert the threat of a big inning.
After being stymied by Japanese starter Sho Akiyama for four innings, the Korean bats got their first run in the fifth. Lee Min-joon’s single, Park Joo-chan’s walk, and Akiyama’s wild pitch put runners on second and third with Jung Jun-jae grounding into a double play, but Eurhyup was retired on a fielder’s choice to end the inning without further damage.
After failing to score in the sixth and seventh innings, South Korea responded with a run in the eighth. With the bases loaded, Kim Bum-seok lined a two-seam changeup from Raiku Katayama over the left field fence. A solo shot. It was the first home run of the tournament and the first home run of the Taipei Dome.
Kim Bum-seok followed up in the fourth inning with a huge double off the center field fence. He finished 2-for-4 with a double, home run and two long balls. The only multi-hit game on the team.
South Korea’s fourth starter,
Cho Byung-hyun, pitched 3 1/3 innings of one-hit ball with two walks and one strikeout, but the rally came to a screeching halt in the eighth inning when Shin Heon-min gave up a run on three hits. He retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth to take the loss.
Japan starter Akiyama earned the win with six innings of five-hit ball, one walk, eight strikeouts and one earned run. First baseman Yano paced South Korea with a 4-for-4 performance at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a home run, one RBI and one walk.