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Nat'l members from S. Korean baseball champs 'proud' to represent country

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Published : 2017-02-09 22:18
Updated : 2017-02-09 22:18

INCHEON (Yonhap) -- Eight national baseball team members from the reigning league champions Doosan Bears said Thursday they'll represent the country with pride at an upcoming international tournament.

No Korea Baseball Organization club will have more representation at the World Baseball Classic next month. And these eight players -- infielders Oh Jae-won, Kim Jae-ho and Hur Kyoung-min; outfielders Min Byung-hun and Park Kun-woo; and pitchers Chang Won-jun and Lee Hyun-seung -- halted their offseason preparations with the Bears in Australia on Thursday to get ready for the national team training camp. The national team will depart for Okinawa, Japan, on Saturday.

Chang, a left-handed starter who won 15 games last season, said he's been gearing up for the WBC for weeks.

"Since I will be representing the country, my focus will be even sharper than during the regular season," Chang told reporters at Incheon International Airport. "I'll continue to work hard over the next month to enjoy a good tournament."

South Korea will host the first round action in Pool A at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. The first game is against Israel on March 6, with the Netherlands and Chinese Taipei being the other opponents. The top two teams from the pool will advance to the next round, which will take place in Tokyo.

Lee, the Bears' closer, said he can't wait to pitch in his first WBC.

"We're the defending champions, and we have eight representatives for a reason," Lee said. "We're all proud, but at the same time, we feel a weight of responsibility."