|Korean national baseball team’s Oh Seung-hwan throws in the ninth inning during his team’s World Baseball Classic game against Chinese Taipei at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Thursday. Korea won 11-8. / Yonhap|
By Baek Byung-yeul
Korea picked up a win in its final World Baseball Classic (WBC) game after defeating Chinese Taipei 11-8 in extra innings, Thursday.
In the first-round pool A game at Gocheok Sky Dome in western Seoul, Korea grabbed an early lead but relinquished it in late innings.
With one out and runners at first and third bases in the top of the 10th inning, Korea’s catcher Yang Eui-ji hit a sacrifice fly to center fielder to score Oh Jae-won. Pinch hitter Kim Tae-kyun then smashed a two-run home run to widen the score to 11-8. The St. Louis Cardinals closer Oh Seung-hwan pitched scoreless two innings to seal the victory.
With the win, Korea wrapped up the first round of the quadrennial international baseball tourney with one win and two losses.
After taking two losses to Israel 2-1 and the Netherlands 5-0 in previous Pool A games earlier this week, Korea has already been eliminated in the first round for the second consecutive WBC.
Given that this was the first time Korea hosts WBC games, the result was below expectations. But one good thing by winning over Chinese Taipei is Korea will automatically qualify for the 2021 event.