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Korea finishes fifth in youth baseball tourney

Host South Korea finished fifth at the world youth baseball championship in Seoul Saturday, defeating Japan 3-0 to avenge an earlier loss.

In U18 World Championship action at Mokdong Stadium, right-hander Lee Geon-wook threw eight scoreless innings, and Yoon Dae-young hit South Korea’s first and only home run of the tournament in the ninth for the shutout victory.

Two days earlier, Japan had beaten South Korea 4-2 in second-round action, a defeat that eventually relegated South Korea to the fifth-place match. Japan fell to the U.S. 10-5 Friday night to also drop into the fifth-place contest.

Japanese starter Shohei Otani struck out 12 in seven innings Saturday, but the South Koreans still found ways to score off the right-hander. In the top of the second, Song Jun-suk hit a double to left-center that scored Sim Jae-yun from first. Then in the fifth, with runners on first and third, Otani was called for a balk that allowed Song to come home from third.

In the ninth, Yoon, the team’s cleanup hitter, took Takuya Sato, Japan’s second pitcher, over the left-field fence for an insurance run. (Yonhap News)