S. Korean manager eyes bigger prize after losing to Japan in Super Round

Nov 17, 2019

S. Korean manager eyes bigger prize after losing to Japan in Super Round

Tokyo (Japan) Nov 17: South Korea might have blinked first against Japan in their international baseball battle on Saturday, but the team's manager said he is determined the win the war in the end.
South Korea fell to Japan 10-8 in the final Super Round game game at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12 at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo.
But the result didn't matter much in the end. Even before Saturday's game, both teams were already assured of their places in the championship final, which will be played Sunday back at the dome.
And South Korean manager Kim Kyung-moon used the first of the two matches to rest some of his regulars and give his reserves a chance to play.
"It would have been nice to have won this game, but we have a more important game tomorrow," Kim said. "I felt players who've been competing the whole tournament needed some time off. I wanted to make sure I'd have my best possible lineup for tomorrow,"
And hitters who had been riding the pine before had some big hits. Hwang Jae-gyun, a backup third baseman who got the start at first base on Saturday, hit a solo home run in the top third. Kang Baek-ho, the team's youngest position player, at 20, making his first international start, batted 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
The manager said Saturday's performance won't necessarily influence his lineup decisions for Sunday.
"I'll go over a few things with my coaching staff, and our focus will be on strengthening our defense," Kim said. "We'll try to put this loss behind us and do the best we can to win on Sunday."
The Premier12 is also an Olympic qualifying event for Asia/Oceania countries, and South Korea clinched its spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Friday, while Japan has an automatic spot as the host country.
Source: Yonhap