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Samsung Lions defeat Taiwanese rival, reach semifinals at Asia Series

Samsung Lions’ Woo Dong-gyun delivers a game-winning hit in the top of the 10th inning at Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium on Sunday to lead his team to 5-4 victory over Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions. (Yonhap News)
Samsung Lions’ Woo Dong-gyun delivers a game-winning hit in the top of the 10th inning at Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium on Sunday to lead his team to 5-4 victory over Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions. (Yonhap News)

South Korean baseball champion Samsung Lions defeated the Taiwanese champ Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions 5-4 in 10 innings at the Asia Series here on Sunday.

Woo Dong-gyun delivered the game-winning hit in the top of the 10th inning at Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium, as the South Korean Lions moved on to the semifinals with two consecutive victories at the annual tournament among regional league winners.

Last Friday, Samsung defeated Fortitudo Bologna of Italy 5-2.

With two wins, Samsung clinched the top spot in Group A, and Uni-President ended in second place. In the semifinal game scheduled for Monday, the South Korean Lions will face the Canberra Cavalry, the reigning Australian champions, which finished second in Group B.

The Taiwanese Lions will take on the Japanese champion and the Group B winner the Rakuten Golden Eagles in the other semifinal matchup to be held on Tuesday.

The championship final is set for Wednesday.

The Samsung Lions, who have won the past three championships in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), won their only Asia Series in 2011, becoming the first non-Japanese club to clinch the title.

With the score tied at 4-4 in the top of the 10th, Kim Tae-wan drew a two-out walk, and pinch-runner Park Chan-do stole second.

Then Woo, pinch hitting for Lee Ji-young, came through with a single to right off Luis Vizcaino to put Samsung ahead for good.

Samsung's right-hander Ahn Ji-man was credited with the win thanks to two scoreless innings in relief. Former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher Boof Bonser took the loss for the Taiwanese club.

Samsung took a 1-0 lead in the top third thanks to Lee Seung-yeop's two-out double. The Taiwanese team quickly erased the deficit, scoring two runs on four straight hits off Samsung's starter Kim Hee-gul in the bottom third.

In the seesawing affair, Jeong Hyeong-sik launched a two-run double in the top fourth to put Samsung up by 3-2. In the fifth, Park Han-yi hit a sacrifice fly to left to make it a 4-2 game for the South Korean side.

Uni-President ate into Samsung's lead. In the seventh, Pan Wu-Hsiung lined a double to left-center to halve the deficit, and Teng Chih-Wei hit a pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the eighth to tie the score.

Woo then played the hero for Samsung in extra innings, helping his team clinch the top spot in Group A and avoid the Japanese champ Rakuten in the semis.

The Golden Eagles defeated the Cavalry 6-3 in a game held earlier Sunday to secure the top Group B seed. (Yonhap News)



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