WBC Roundup: South Korea sets record with 22-2 rout of China
TOKYO (AP) — Kunwoo Park and Ha-Seong Kim hit grand slams in consecutive innings, and South Korea set a World Baseball Classic scoring record with a 22-2 rout over China on Monday night in a game between already eliminated teams.
South Korea broke the runs record that had stood since Japan beat China 18-2 in the first round of the initial WBC in 2006.
In the earlier Group B game, Australia defeated the Czech Republic 6-3 and reached a quarterfinal against Cuba on Wednesday. Japan plays Italy the following day in the second quarterfinal.
South Korea (2-2) finished third in Group B and failed to advance past the first round for the third straight WBC. The South Koreans finished third in the initial tournament in 2006 and were runner-up in 2009.
China (0-4) has never advanced past the first round. The last-place finish in the group means it will have to go through qualifying to reach the 2026 tournament.
The South Koreans took a 4-2 lead with a two-run second, then broke open the game with eight runs in the third, six in the fourth and four in the fifth. The game was stopped after five innings under the tournament’s mercy rule, which calls for games to end if a team leads by 15 runs after five innings or by 10 runs after seven.
Park had five RBIs, San Diego Padres infielder Ha-Seong Kim had four, and Hyseong Kim and Jung Hoo Lee three each for South Korea, which outhit China 20-4. Park hit his slam in the fourth off Hailong Sun and Ha-Seong Kim hit his in the fifth against Changlong Su.
Winner Hyeong Jun So entered to start the second inning and retired nine straight batters.
Loser Alan Carter, a Los Angeles Angels minor leaguer, allowed four runs, four hits and two walks in 1 1/3 innings.
AUSTRALIA 8, CZECH REPUBLIC 3
TOKYO (AP) — Milwaukee Brewers prospect Alex Hall had four RBIs as Australia (3-1) advanced past the first round for the first time in five WBC appearances, finishing second in the group behind Japan (4-0). The Czechs (1-3) finished fourth.
Logan Wade hit a tiebreaking, two-run double off the right-field wall in the seventh off loser Marek Minarik, driving in Robbie Glendinning and Aaron Whitefield for a 3-1 lead.
Hall’s homered in the first, the only hit off Martin Schneider in 5 1/3 innings. Schneider was pulled after 68 pitches, having reached the limit.
Eric Sogard had a tying RBI single in the third off Mitch Neunborn that scored Petr Zyma. Hall hit a two-run triple in the eighth and a run-scoring grounder in the ninth.
Marek Chlup had a two-run single in the eighth for the Czechs.