The National Youth Baseball Team, competing at the 7th World Youth Baseball Classic (U12) in Tainan, Taiwan, pulled off a thrilling come-from-behind 9-8 victory over Dominica in the second game of the preliminary round on Tuesday.
The game started one hour and 45 minutes later than scheduled due to a sudden downpour of rain after the end of the second game.
The game got off to a rough start with a number of early errors.
In the top of the first inning, the team got on the board first on a bunt single followed by a fielding error. Then, with runners on first and third, the fifth batter hit an infield grounder that allowed the runner from third to score to make it 0-2.
After retiring the side in order in the bottom of the first, the team gave up three runs in the top of the second on a stolen base, a walk, and an infield hit. Then, with runners on first and second, the third batter, Gonzalez Perez, hit a three-run home run to left field, making it 0-6.
But there was no giving up. In the bottom of the second inning, back-to-back walks were followed by a wild pitch to score the first run.
Lee Dong-gyu, who took over for Lee Jin-woong, pitched scoreless innings in the third and fourth, and the offense came alive.
In the bottom of the third, a leadoff walk to Yang Sang-myung and a single to left center by Lee Jin-woong put runners on second and third with Lee Lee-jung hitting a two-run single to extend the lead to 6-3. In the bottom of the fourth, Park Jun-hyung and Kim Joo-ha led off with a walk and an infield single before Yoon Tae-woong hit a two-run double off the right field fence to cut the deficit to one. Four pitches later, a wild pitch by the substituted Dominican pitcher tied the game at 6-6.
After trading two runs in the fifth, the teams entered the final inning tied at 8-8.
The Dominican leadoff hitter allowed a walk, but induced a fielder’s choice. Two batters later, a double, a walk, and back-to-back singles put runners on the corners, but closer Yoon Min-young struck out to end the inning. 꽁머니
In the bottom of the inning, Lee Yi-jeong led off with a walk and Yoon Min-young followed with an infield single to put runners on second and third, but Lee raced home on Lee Dong-gyu’s grounder to third to end the game.
Meanwhile, the Koreans, who are tied with the United States with two wins in the same group, will play their third game of the preliminary round against the Czech Republic on Wednesday afternoon.