In the World Baseball Classic (WBC) opening game, South Korea suffered a tough loss to Australia, 8-7. Despite a valiant effort, the Korean squad couldn’t keep pace with Australia’s potent offense, which saw three homers from Tim Kennelly, Robbie Glendinning, and Robbie Perkins. The underdog Aussies pounded an impressive ten hits at Tokyo Dome, leaving South Korea reeling.
It’s quite the letdown as South Korea was hopeful to advance out of a strong Pool B that consists of these two squads, powerhouse Japan, China, and the Czech Republic. South Korea has seemingly backed themselves into a must-win position with a handful of difficult games remaining on their opening round schedule.
Australia’s Offense Overpowers Korea
While Yang Eui-ji managed to homer for South Korea in the fifth inning, it wasn’t enough to turn the tide. Adding insult to injury, South Korea also wasted a crucial late-game opportunity with a silly baserunning mistake. It’s a tough start for the Koreans, who must bounce back quickly if they hope to make a deep run in this year’s WBC.
South Korea must regroup quickly, with a tough matchup against world No. 1 Japan looming on Friday. The group also includes the Czech Republic and China, with the top two nations advancing to the quarterfinals. With Australia’s strong performance, they are now in a better position to claim one of the spots, along with Japan.
Australia puts itself in a great position picking up a win over such an experienced and veteran Korean squad.
South Korea Continues Early Struggles In WBC
Thursday’s loss marked the third consecutive time South Korea dropped their opening game in the WBC. In 2013, they fell to the Netherlands 5-0, leading to an early exit. Four years later, South Korea suffered a heartbreaking loss to Israel, 2-1 on home soil, and once again failed to advance past the first round.
South Korea had a strong start to the World Baseball Classic finishing third in the inaugural tournament in 2006 and coming in as the runner-up to Japan in 2009. However, their recent loss to Australia in the opening game of this year’s competition means they will have to work hard to replicate their past successes.
Australia Looks To Keep Rolling
Australia will have a day off on the 10th following their impressive victory over South Korea and will face off against China on the 11th in their second game of the opening first round. They then play #1 overall seed Japan and close out their first round against the Czech Republic.