Head-first-slide-to-first by Seunghwan Song puts Korea in World Championship final
Korea : In the eighth inning, with the bases full and one out, the left fielder hit a grounder to third. After completing the force play at second, Branlyn Jaraba threw to first for the double play. As he threw the ball, Song dived and beat it, enabling Hanbyul Kim to score the game-winning run.
On Saturday, Seunghwan Song’s RBI placed Korea up 5-4 against Colombia in the bottom of the eighth inning, and ultimately helped them advance to the championship game of the IV WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup.
With two outs remaining in the seventh inning, Korea was on the verge of losing until catcher Seongbin Son hit an RBI double to tie the game. The Koreans held Colombia scoreless in the top of the eighth, and then the game-winning run was driven in by Seunghwan Song.
Second baseman Carlos Arroyo went 4-for-4 with four RBIs as Colombia fought fiercely despite having little chance of advancing to the medal round.
Before the seventh inning, Colombia led 5-4 against the submarine right-hander Unhyun Noh.
When substitute hitter Youngwoo Koo grounded into a double play with runners on first and second in the bottom of the eighth, it seemed like Korea’s chances were all but done. With two outs and the score tied at two, Taeyang Han reached second on a wild pitch and Seongbin Son’s soaring fly to left field, where Jorge Puerta was playing shallow, resulted in an RBI double and pushed the game into extra innings.
Sixth Korean pitcher Junho Lee finished the eighth inning by retiring the side in order.
Reliever Gabriel Hernandez was forced to intentionally walk Taeyun Kim so that Korea could advance the tying runners on a bunt. After a full count, Seunghwan Song hit a grounder to third.
Korea vs Colombia
Branlyn Jaraba chose to not bother with the runner coming home, so he got the force out on the bag and then threw to first for the out that ended the inning. Song raced down the line and dived to first base, beating the throw and bringing in Hanbyul Kim with the game-winning run.
Korea, now ranked top in the world, will be participating in their first-ever U-23 Baseball World Cup final. Korea finished in third place in the 2016 U-21 Baseball World Cup and fell short in the 2018 U-23 tournament’s bronze-medal game to Venezuela.
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