After an opening loss to the Netherlands, South Korea had to have a win against Australia to stay in the running to be one of the two teams that will advance to the second round of the World Baseball Classic out of Pool B in Taichong, Taiwan.
Behind former Red Sox farmhand Song Seung Jun and an 11-hit attack, the Koreans did just that, beating Australia 6-0 for their first WBC win of 2013.
Leadoff man Lee Yong Kyu had two and scored twice, while first baseman Lee Seung Yeop and DH Lee Dae Ho, the heart of the Korean lineup, had three hits apiece. South Korea jumped on Cubs farmhand Ryan Searle for four hits and four runs in the first two innings, giving Song a working margin early.
Song, 32, signed with the Red Sox in 1999 and was traded to the Expos in 2002 along with fellow Korean righthander Sun Woo Kim in the Cliff Floyd deal. He pitches for the Lotte Giants in the Korean Baseball Organization and pitched four scoreless innings against the Aussies, giving up two hits and two walks.
Australia had plenty of chances but left nine runners on base. The three Australian hitters with big league time—left fielder Luke Hughes, DH Justin Huber and second baseman Brad Harman—went a combined 0-for-10 with five strikeouts. Brewers farmhand Mike Walker and Braves farmhand Matt Kennelly had two hits apiece for the Aussies, who fell to 0-2.
South Korea now plays host Taiwan, which is already 2-0, while the Netherlands plays Australia. Two teams advance out of every pool, and no team has clinched yet in Pool B. The Aussies could theoretically still advance with a win and a Taiwan win, which would leave three teams at 1-2 battling for the second spot. Also, a win for Taiwan clinches a spot in the second round, but it’s still possible for three teams to finish 2-1 in Pool B.
A three-team tie would put WBC tiebreakers into play. First-round tiebreaker rules state that if three teams have the same record, the teams will be ranked by TQB—Team Quality Balance. That’s determined as the sum of runs scored divided by the number of innings played on offense, minus runs allowed divided by innings played on defense. In formula form, it looks like this:
The full WBC rules and tiebreakers are listed here: http://web.worldbaseballclassic.com/wbc/2013/about/rules.jsp