The South Korean baseball team has advanced to the finals at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games.
Ryu Jung-il’s team defeated Japan 2-0 on Friday afternoon at the Baseball and Softball Sports Center 1 in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, China, in the first game of the tournament’s Super Round, behind a six-inning no-hitter by starting pitcher Park Se-woong (Lotte Giants) and a two-run double by Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha Eagles).
South Korea came into the Super Round with a 1-1 record after losing to No. 1 Taiwan in the group stage.
Japan, who also suffered a shock loss to China in the group stage, dropped to 2-1.
In the other Super Round match, Taiwan defeated China 4-1 to move to 2 wins (unbeaten), while China remained at 1 win and 1 loss, and Korea can advance to the final with 2 wins and 1 loss and face Taiwan if they defeat China at 1 p.m. on July 7.
After an unexpected back injury to Kwak Bin (Doosan Bears) disrupted their starting rotation, South Korea sent veteran right-hander Park Se-woong (Lotte Giants) to start against Japan.
Park struck out nine and held Japan to two hits, two walks and zero runs to earn the win.
Park faced immediate trouble in the first inning when he gave up a leadoff walk to Hiroki Nakagawa and stole second base.
Shoji Kitamura followed with a single to left, putting runners on first and third, but Park got Tatsuhiko Sato to fly out to center field and Masashi Maruyama to ground out to end the inning.
After the first inning, Park struck out eight over the next five innings, effectively shutting down the Japanese bats.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Korean bats, who had given up five hits to Japan’s right-hander Shuichiro Kyo, had runners on first and third with no outs when Choi Ji-hoon (SSG Landers) singled and Yoon Dong-hee (Lotte Giants) doubled to right-center.
However, after Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha Eagles) struck out, Moon Bo-kyung (LG Twins) bunted and Yoon Dong-hee, who was running for second, was caught stealing third.
South Korea’s chances were squandered when Moon’s well-hit line drive was picked up by pitcher Gano and thrown to the ground instead of being picked up by his glove.
South Korea broke the 0-0 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Leadoff hitter Kim Hye-sung (Kiwoom Heroes) led off with a single up the middle and used his quick feet to reach second base.
Choi Ji-hoon’s sacrifice bunt and Yoon Dong-hee’s walk put runners on first and third, and Noh Si-hwan hit a huge sacrifice fly to left field to send Kim home.
Korea added one more run in the bottom of the eighth.
After a leadoff walk by Kim Hye-sung and a bunt single by Choi Ji-hoon, No. 4 hitter Noh Si-hwan hit a clean single to left field.
Ryu Jung-il replaced Park Se-woong with Choi Ji-min (KIA Tigers) in the seventh inning to lock down the game.
Choi Ji-min cooked Motoki Mukoyama at shortstop with one out to keep the scoreless streak alive, and in the eighth, Park Young-hyun (KT WIZ) hit a double down the left field line two batters later, but he got Kazuya Shimokawa to fly out to center field to end the threat.
Park Young-hyun, who took the mound in the ninth inning in place of struggling closer Ko Woo-seok (LG), faced the threat of tying the game with runners on first and second after shortstop Kim Joo-won (NC Dinos) made a throwing error and allowed a hit.
However, he induced the next batter to ground out to second base to get a breather and then induced a double play to end the game with runners on first and third.
Japan, which is comprised entirely of unemployed baseball players, managed only five sporadic hits against South Korea after two against China, and was swept for the second consecutive game with a “historic” blank. 스포츠토토