Kim ‘149km’ for fourth straight game…Korea beats Netherlands to advance to 3-4 playoffs

Korea’s youth baseball team advances to the third-place game.

The Korea National Youth Baseball Team, led by Lee Young-bok, defeated the Netherlands 3-1 in the final game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup Super Round at Tianmu Stadium in Taipei, Taiwan on Monday (Sept. 9). Kim Taek-yeon, pitching for the fourth consecutive day, tossed a scoreless first inning to secure the win.

Korea, which lost back-to-back games against Japan (1-7) and the United States (1-5) in the Super Round, improved to 2-4 in the Super Round with an 8-1 win over Puerto Rico in the group stage to earn a spot in the third- through fourth-place playoffs.

South Korea is tied with the United States and Puerto Rico at 2-3, but has the edge over Puerto Rico in the three-team head-to-head team quality balance (TQB). South Korea will play the third-place game on Tuesday against the third-place USA in the Super Round.

It was a must-win game against the Netherlands to advance to the third-place game. Korea’s starting lineup was Jung An-seok (second base), Lee Chung-heon (center field), Yeo Dong-gun (first base), Park Ji-hwan (shortstop), Cho Hyun-min (third base), Lee Yul-ye (designated hitter), Lee Sang-joon (catcher), Lee Seung-min (left field), and Yeon Jun-won (right field). The starting pitcher was Yuk Sun-yeop.

In the first inning, Korea took advantage of its chances. Jung Ahn-seok singled to right and Lee Chung-heon doubled to left to put runners on second and third with no outs, and Park Ji-hwan laid down an exquisite squeeze bunt to third. It brought home the go-ahead run. Park then stole second and scored on a grounder by Cho Hyun-min to make it 2-0. In the third inning, Yeo Dong-gun singled and Cho Hyun-min doubled down the right field line.

The Korean mound combined for seven innings of one-run ball to preserve the lead. Yuk Sun-yeop started the game with 3⅔ innings of five-hit ball, two walks, five strikeouts and one run. Park Gun-woo followed with two innings of one-hit ball with one walk and four strikeouts, Kim Taek-yeon pitched one inning of one-hit ball with one walk and two strikeouts, and Jeon Mir got the final out on a grounder to shortstop with the bases loaded in the seventh inning to end the game. Park earned the win and Jeon the save.

Kim was on the mound for the fourth consecutive day after pitching back-to-back rainouts against Puerto Rico on July 7 and 8 (21 pitches in 1⅔ innings and 19 pitches in 1⅓ innings) and then against the United States on July 9 (16 pitches in 1⅓ innings). He was tired, but his fastball was up to 149 mph. Finished with 24 pitches in 1 1/3 innings before turning the mound over to Jemir for the final time on a full count with two outs in the seventh. In five games, nine innings, 20 strikeouts, two earned runs and a 1.00 ERA. His strikeouts lead the tournament 소닉카지노.

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