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Baseball Olympic Games 2020 - Official Payoff

Defending Olympic baseball champions Korea win 10-inning thriller against Israel

Defending Olympic baseball champions Korea win 10-inning thriller against Israel
29/07/2021
Olympic baseball has opened its competition with a pair of dramatic thrillers. After Japan’s come from behind, walk-off win over Dominican Republic yesterday in Fukushima, today Korea and Israel played 10 innings, in a roller-coaster match with a wild end.

Korea rallied from behind to score a 10-inning 6-5 win over Israel in both teams' Tokyo 2020 Olympic baseball opener Thursday night at Yokohama Baseball Stadium. Back-to-back hit by pitches in the tenth inning pushed the decisive run across the plate.

Jon Moscot started for Israel, allowing a leadoff single by Hae-Min Park, but just a few pitches later he had to leave the game with an injury in his throwing arm, replaced by lefty Jake Fisherman.

Korean starter Tae-in Won struck out the first four batters he faced.

In the fifth, Israel put two runs on the scoreboard with a 2-run home run to left field by 4-time MLB All-Star Ian Kinsler. These are the first two runs in the history of the Olympic baseball for Israel.

In the bottom of the fourth, Korea also used the long ball to tie the game. With a runner on, WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup 2008 champion Ji-Hwan Oh lasered a line drive into the right-field seats to tie the game at 2-2.

Korean side-arm right hander Won-Joon Choi took the ball in the fourth, and pitched two perfect innings with 4 strikeouts. But in the top of the sixth Danny Valencia singled to center field and Ryan Lavarnway homered to left-center to make it 4-2 for Israel.

In the bottom of the seventh, the heart of the Korean lineup showed its power to tie the game again. Jung-Hoo Lee and Hyun-Soo Kim hit back-to-back solo bombs off Zack Weiss to the right field to make it 4-4. 

Moments later, Jaeil Oh grounded to second base and Kinsler made a great diving catch, but his throw to first was off, putting the potential go-ahead run on base. Two batters later Oh scored on a Ji-Hwan Oh's two-out RBI double off the center field wall.

In the top of the ninth, Korean manager Kyung-moon Kim sent Seunghwan Oh to close the game, but the right hander served a game-tying home run to Lavarnway that sent the game to extra innings.

In the top of the tenth, with both teams starting the inning with runner on first and second for the tie-breaking rule, Seunghwan Oh recovered from the blew save and retired the three batters he faced to keep the deadlock in the scoreboard. 

In the home half of the inning, Jeremy Bleich took the ball for Israel and retired the first two Koran hitters, on a sacrifice bunt and a tough pop-fly behind third base. Bleich then hit Kyoung-min Hur to load the bases, and then grazed Euiji Yang’s leg to force home the game-ending run.

Seunghwan Oh was the game-winning pitcher in two innings of work, striking out five and allowing a solo homer. The loss went to Bleich.

Tomorrow, Israel takes on USA at 7 p.m. JST. Korea will face USA on Saturday. The three teams are competing in the Group B round-robin.