Sun, Nov 22, 2015 - Page 20 News List

S Korea win Premier 12

By Grant Dexter  /  Staff reporter

Japan’s Shogo Akiyama hits a two-run home run against Mexico in their WBSC Premier 12 third-place playoff at the Tokyo Dome yesterday.

Photo: Reuters

South Korea won the final of the first-ever World Baseball Softball Confederation Premier 12 competition last night, thumping the US 8-0.

The scoring in the decisive five-run fourth inning started with left fielder Kim Hyun-soo’s two-RBI double down the right-field line.

That made the score 4-0 after center fielder Lee Yong-yu’s double to left center brought second baseman Jeong Keun-woo home in the first and Lee scored after an initial Kim double in the third.

Then, with men on second and third in the fifth frame, first baseman Park Byun-gho homered down the left-field line to make the lead seven and the game all but secure.

Starter Kim Kwang-hyun pitched five innings of four-hit ball, while the US’ Brooks Pounders took the brunt of the offense, giving up five runs on four hits over 1-2/3 innings.

The result was at odds with the teams’ rankings; the US entering the competition as world No. 2 and had a 3-2 win in their Pool B game at the Tianmu Baseball Stadium between the two sides, while South Korea were ranked No. 8.

Earlier, also at the Tokyo Dome, Japan defeated Mexico in the third-place playoff, needing only seven innings in their 11-1 win.

After their painful semi-final loss to South Korea on Thursday, the hosts belted five home runs, with Shogo Akiyama’s two-run shot in the seventh ending the contest on the mercy rule.

Two home runs by Tetsuto Yamada and two-RBI homers by Sho Nakata and Nobuhiro Matsuda made the score 8-0 after only two innings.

Mexico’s only score came through Juan Perez, who hit a solo home run off Tomoyuki Sugano in the sixth.

Sugano was given the win for three innings of one-hit ball, while starter Shota Takeda had the same numbers, but without conceding a run.

However, Japan are likely to be rueing opportunities lost after leading all the way until the final inning in their semi-final, only to come unglued and have to watch South Korea’s demolition of the US.

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