Fri, Feb 29, 2008 - Page 23 News List

S Korea harpoon Whales in IBAF exhibition clash

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Taiwan's Chinatrust Whales were no match for South Korea in Wednesday night's exhibition action for the 2008 IBAF Final Olympic Qualification Tournament at Douliou as they lost 8-1 to an outstanding South Korean squad.

With South Korea opting to arrive in Taiwan early to play three friendly matches against the Chinese Professional Baseball League teams in preparation for the upcoming Final Olympic Qualification Tournament in Taichung (March 7 to March 14), the game against the Whales provided Team Taiwan with an excellent opportunity to scout on perhaps their toughest opponent in the entire tournament.

And South Korea did not disappoint, sending Kim Kwang-hyun from the SK Wyverns of South Korea's Korean Baseball Organization to the mound and humbling the marine creatures with an impressive one-hit effort from the lefty ace over four scoreless innings.

After Kim, four different South Korean hurlers entered the game to equally split the five remaining innings of play, allowing the lone run in the game for the Whales on a run-scoring fielding error by the shortstop with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, completely humbling the Whales.

Standing opposite Kim was Whales rookie starter Kao Jing-min, who started the game strong with a pair of scoreless innings before running into some trouble in the third by give up three runs on as many hits to fall behind 0-3.

He would last two batters into the sixth before being pulled on an eight-hit outing.

The South Korea pitchers kept the Whales hitters in check with one lone hit through the first four frames.

Even though they would end up with five hits on the night, none of the hits managed to knock in any runs as South Korea's pitching yielded no more than one hit in any single inning.

"It's hard to come up with any runs when the offense is limited to just five hits, none of which are strung together," Whales manager Hsieh Chang-hen said after the game, praising the solid effort by the entire South Korea pitching staff.

Next up for South Korea will be the dmedia T-Rex (formerly the Macoto Cobras) for its second match in the three-game exhibition series at Taichung on Sunday at 1:05pm. Tuesday night's meeting at 6:35pm with the Sinon Bulls is also scheduled for Taichung.

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