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Baseball Olympic Games 2020 - Official Payoff

USA uses 5-run inning to beat Korea 7-2 and advance to Olympic baseball gold medal game versus Japan

USA uses 5-run inning to beat Korea 7-2 and advance to Olympic baseball gold medal game versus Japan
05/08/2021
A five-run sixth inning lifted No. 4 USA to a semifinal win against No. 3 Korea, 7-2, to advance to the Tokyo 2020 Gold Medal Game against Japan. The 2008 champions Korea will play in the Bronze Medal Game against Dominican Republic.

The US National Baseball Team will be playing for gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

A five-run sixth inning lifted world No. 4 USA to a 7-2 semifinal win over No. 3 Korea Thursday night at Yokohama Stadium. Jamie Westbrook hit a solo homer in the fourth inning while Jack Lopez tallied two RBI and one run scored.

USA struck first in the bottom of the second when Lopez knocked an RBI single to center field to bring in Mark Kolozsvary, who had walked and stolen second base.

"We knew it was not going to be easy," Lopez said. "Joe (Ryan) going 4 plus innings, Ryder (Ryan) going for 1 and 2/3. But everybody just chipping in. It was a team effort for sure"

In the bottom of the fourth, Westbrook crushed an Euilee Lee pitch over the left field pole and sent it into the newly inaugurated second deck.

Korea came up with two consecutive hits in their fifth at bat to land their first run. Kyoungmin Hur was hit by a pitch with one out and moved to third on a single by Hyeseong Kim. With runners in the corners, leadoff man Hae-Min Park drove in Hur with a run-scoring single to left field. Mike Scioscia pulled out starter Joe Ryan and inserted Ryan Ryder, who escaped with a grounder to second base, very well played by Eddy Alvarez for an inning-ending double play. Ryan lasted 4.1 innings allowing four hits and one run, with four Ks. 

In the bottom of the sixth, USA erupted for five runs. Kolozsvary, Lopez and Alvarez produced one run each, while Tyler Austin hit a two-RBI single to center field. Korea used five pitchers to retire the three outs of the inning.

In the seventh, Kunwoo Park singled and Ji-Hwan Park doubled to open Korea’s at bat, and one out later Hyeseong Kim hit an RBI single off Scott McGough, who was replaced by lefty Anthony Gose. The left-hander ended the inning with consecutive strikeouts.

Gose and Anthony Carter blanked Korea in the eighth and ninth to clinch the victory.

The winning pitcher for USA was Ryan, who tossed 1.2 innings in relief; while Euilee Lee got the loss for Korea after five innings of work with five hits, two runs and nine strikeouts. Korea’s manager Kyung-Moon Kim used eight relievers in the last four innings. 

USA will now meet Japan in the Tokyo 2020 baseball competition final on Saturday at 7 p.m. JST.

"I get the chills. It's going to be a fun night," Lopez said. "I cannot even think about it."

It will be USA's second Olympic final after the historic 4-0 gold medal win in Sydney 2000 against Cuba. USA will capture its fourth Olympic medal.

There will be a new Olympic baseball gold medallist, as defending champions Korea will be playing in the bronze medal game on Saturday, at noon (JST), against Dominican Republic.