|Japan and South Korea win, set up showdown in Asian Olympic qualifier|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 02 December 2007 07:47|
Starter Hideaki Wakui threw six innings against the Filipinos, who managed one hit in the game. Reliever Masahide Kobayashi, who signed with the Cleveland Indians last month, pitched a perfect seventh.
Japan jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning against Philippines starter JonJon Robles, but was then held scoreless until the sixth inning, when it added a run. The Japanese scored four more times in the next inning to end the game early.
Shinnosuke Abe went 4-for-4 with an RBI, and Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Atsunori Inaba and Munenori Kawasaki each drove in two runs. Norichika Aoki, widely considered Japan's best hitter, went 0-for-5 and struck out once.
The easy win set up a Sunday showdown between Japan and South Korea, which defeated host Taiwan 5-2 on Saturday. Behind starter Hyun-Jin Ryu and relievers Chan Ho Park, Wong-Suk Jeong and D.H. Chung, the South Koreans held Taiwan without an extra-base hit.
Taiwan took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a single from designated hitter Chin-Feng Chen, but Jeong-Wook Lee's three-run home run in the top of the fifth put South Korea ahead to stay. Jin Man Park added a solo shot in the seventh inning for the South Koreans.
South Korea was able to generate enough offense despite striking out 10 times in five innings against Taiwan starter En Yu Lin, whose only mistake was a fastball to Lee.
Ryu, a left-hander, pitched five innings to earn the win, giving up four hits and a walk while striking out five. Former major leaguer Park struck out four in three scoreless innings.