CHINA – Kang Jung-ho smacked a pair of home runs and tallied five RBIs, and South Korea broke open a tight affair with a four-run third to dethrone Taiwan 9-3 Friday and reclaim the championship at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou.
The Nexen Heroes third baseman tallied a trio of run-scoring hits. Kang and Lotte Giants slugger Lee Dae-ho both hit two-run blasts in a pivotal fourth frame, and singled home a run in the seventh. The corner infielder capped the gold medal victory with another two-run dinger in the ninth in front of 3,500 spectators at the Aoti Baseball Field.
Major Leaguer Choo Shin-soo, who was one of 10 Korean players to earn a military exemption with the Asian Games title, plated Jung Keun-woo with an RBI single in the first inning to stake the reigning Olympic champion to a quick lead. But, Taiwan answered in the bottom of the same frame off Hanwha Eagles ace
Ryu Hyun-jin on Cheng Yun-chi run-scoring hit.
Trailing 6-1, the defending Asian Games titleholder closed the gap with a pair of scores in the fourth on Hu Chin-lung and Lin Che-hsuan’s RBI singles. However, Ryu and reliever Yoon Suk-min blanked the Taiwanese the last five innings to bag their second tournament win against the baseball-crazed island nation.
Left-fielder Kim Hyun-soo and second baseman Jung Keun-woo combined for six hits and three runs, while Choo and Lee Yong-kyu had two hits apiece.
JAPAN 6, CHINA 2
Kenichi Yokoyama and Ryo Saeki both drive in two runs to help Japan bag the bronze medal with a win over host China on Friday in front of 900 fans at the Aoti Baseball Field in Guangzhou.
The 2006 Doha Asian Games silver medalist took a quick lead in the opening frame when Chinese starter Wang Pei walked Hayata Ito with the sacks full to force in a run. Yokoyama stretched the lead to 3-0 with a two-run double before Saeki plated two scores with a single to finished off the early fireworks.
Japan starter Kota Suda allowed two runs in five innings to notch the win.
PAST ASIAN GAMES CHAMPIONS
1994 – Japan
1998 – South Korea
2002 – South Korea
2006 – Taiwan
2010 – South Korea
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