South Korea beats Japan 4-3 to reach final of Premier 12
TOKYO (AP) South Korea rallied with four runs in the ninth inning to beat Japan 4-3 and advance to the Premier12 baseball final on Thursday.
Lee Dae Ho, who plays in Japan's professional league, delivered the key hit with a bases-loaded single to left that scored two runs and made it 4-3.
''If you don't give up this is what can happen,'' South Korea manager Kim in Sik said. ''It was an amazing game.''
The South Koreans will face either the United States or Mexico in the final on Saturday.
The stunning comeback spoiled a stellar pitching performance by Japan starter Shohei Otani, who struck out 11 over seven innings while giving up one hit and walking one.
Sho Nakata singled to center as Japan got a runner on first with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but Yoshitomo Tsutsugu and Takaya Nakamura both grounded out to end the game.
South Korea's rally started when pinch hitters Oh Jae Won and Son Ah Seop hit back-to-back singles.
Jeong Keun Woo doubled to make it 3-1, and Takahiro Norimoto hit Lee Yong Kyu with a pitch to load the bases, setting the stage for Lee's clutch hit.