In the past the Asia Series would pit the champions of the NPB, CPBL and KBO against each other, adding an All Star team from China and then later on the champion of the ABL. The attendance for these games was lacking resulting in the abandonment of the sponsor and the ending of the series. This year Japan, Korea and Taiwan have renewed the Asian Series, but this time they are pitting All Star teams of 23 and under prospects against each other. Each team is allowed to play three players who fall above that age requirement. Japan usually dominates these events, but the games are always competitive.
Japan 8 Korea 7
Japan rallied for four runs in the bottom of the tenth inning to win the game 8-7. Seiji Uebayashi slugged a three run homer to tie the game and Tatsuhiro Tamura got the walk off double to give Japan the victory. In the top of the tenth Korea had scored three runs to break a 4-4 tie.
Korea scored four runs in the fourth inning. Ha-Seong Kim started the inning off with a solo homerun. Jung-Hoo Lee ended the scoring with a two run double. Japan rallied back with Hotaka Yamakawa slugging a two run homer in the sixth. In the ninth the Korean pitchers got a little wild, walking two and giving up a hit to load the bases. Yota Kyoda walked to force in the tying run to send the game into extra innings.
Korea got the fireworks started in the tenth with an RBI double from Ji-Hyuk Ryu and a two run double from Ju-Suk Ha, who had driven in a run earlier with a sacrifice fly in the four run fourth. After the Korean bullpen could not protect a one run lead in the ninth, they failed to protect a three run lead in the 10th. With two runners put on base for the extra inning rule Uebayashi slugged a one out 3-run homer to quickly tie the game. Ryoma Nishikawa singled and stole second. Tatsuhiro Tamura ended the game with a double.
Korea 1 Taiwan 0
It was a pitcher’s duel. Kuan-Yu Chen gave up only one run in his 5.2 innings of work. Gi-Yeong Im only allowed two hits in his seven innings of shutout ball. He struck out seven and walked three.
A two out walk and a triple from Jung-Hoo Lee in the sixth inning scored the only run of the game. Pill-Joon Jang got the last four outs, striking out three to seal off the victory for Korea.
If Japan beats Taiwan tomorrow Korea and Japan will play in the championship. If Taiwan wins the series will knot into a three way tie for first at 1-1. A tie breaker will identify the two teams to square off in the championship match.