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[Baseball] Korea Virtually Clinches Olympic Berth

Posted March. 13, 2008 03:06,   


The national baseball team yesterday virtually secured a berth in the Beijing Summer Olympics in Taiwan by routing Germany, 12-1.

Korea has five consecutive wins in Olympic qualifiers and will advance to the Olympics barring a lopsided loss to Canada today or Taiwan tomorrow.

Appearing as cleanup hitter for the first time, team slugger Lee Seung-yeop went 2-3 with three runs batted-in for his fifth consecutive game with a hit and an RBI. Leadoff hitter Lee Yong-gyu also contributed with a stolen base and three runs on two hits.

Korea took advantage of having their best hitters up when the bases were loaded. In the first inning, Lee Yong-gyu hit a single and then stole second base. A balk advanced Lee to third, and Ko Young-min later brought his teammate home.

In the second, Lee Seung-yeop hit a ground single to the pitcher that drove in another run to give his team a 2-1 lead. In the fourth with Korea ahead 5-1, more than nine Korean batters scored six more runs thanks to multiple hits and four walks.

Korean starting pitcher Son Min-han threw six innings, allowing one run and four hits but nine walks. He recorded his second win after beating South Africa.

Team manager Kim Gyeong-moon named Ryu Hyeon-jin the starting pitcher against Canada, which shut out Spain 11-0 in a mercy rule victory.

Japanese analysts and team staff watched the Korea-Germany game, while Japan`s team manager Senichi Hoshino will reportedly watch Korea’s games against Canada and Taiwan.