Posted November. 19, 2010 11:22,
The Korean baseball team assured itself of at least the silver medal Thursday by beating China, 7-1, in the semifinal of the Guangzhou Asian Games at Aoti Baseball Field.
Korean pitcher Yang Hyeon-jong got the win by allowing three hits and one earned run over six innings, and Choo Shin-soo hit his third homer of this Asiad in the victory.
Korea will play for the gold at 7 p.m. against Taiwan, which beat Japan in the other semifinal in extra innings, 4-3.
Chinas leadoff hitter Cui Xiao got a base hit off Yang in the first inning and also stole second with no outs. Yang regained his focus by posting two consecutive strikeouts and denied China a run.
Korea opened the scoring with Park Kyung-wans timely hit that brought in two runs in the second inning. In the third, when China closed the gap to one, Choo blasted a slider from starting Chinese pitcher Lu Jiangang over the right side fence.
With two outs in the fifth and trailing 4-1, China intentionally walked Choo with a runner on third. Lu tried to strike out Kim Tae-kyun, who had grounded out in his two previous at bats, but the Korean slugger drove in two runs with a double.
After the game, Choo said, China has grown far stronger over the past several years.
But baseball commentator Huh Go-yeon, who serves as technical committee chairman for the Korean team, said, China is still no match for Korea. At the Beijing Olympics, Korea struggled because it was somewhat negligent and complacent.
Korea settled for the bronze at the 2006 Doha Asiad but remains highly vigilant this time.