World Baseball Classic Round two, Pool one: Korea – Japan 2-6
JPN 020 000 031 6 15 3 KOR 100 000 100 2 6 3
Japan scored four runs in the last two innings en route to a 6-2 victory over Korea, taking the first seed in Pool one. They now will face Team USA on Sunday in semi-final two. Korea is going to play against Venezuela one day earlier. It was the fourth meeting between the two Asian power houses in International Baseball with each winning two.
Michihiro Ogasawara put Japan back on top with a RBI single in the eighth. A two-run single by Akinori Iwamura made it 5-2. Norichika Aoki extended the lead to four runs with a RBI single in the ninth. Korea had tied the game 2-2 in the seventh through a solo homerun by Bum Ho Lee.
Korea had taken an early 1-0 lead in the first on a RBI double by Hyun-Soo Kim. But Team Nippon answered with two runs in the second behind a solo shot by Seiichi Uchikawa and a RBI single of Yasuyuki Kataoka. Each team used most of their players on the roster with Japan out-hitting Korea 15-6. Shuichi Murata pulled a hamstring in the fourth inning and will miss the rest of the WBC. He will be replaced on the roster by corner infielder Kenta Kurihara from Hiroshima Toyo Carp.
Tetsuya Utsumi (JPN) started and allowed three hits, a run and a walk in 2 2/3 innings. He was opposed by Wonsam Jang (KOR), who induced two runs (1 ER) on five hits in three innings. Hideaki Wakui (W 1-0) picked up the win, Seung Hwan Oh (L 0-1) took the loss.