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Korea drops to Israel in WBC opener

South Korea fell to Israel 2-1 in extra innings in the opening game of the 2017 World Baseball Classic here on Monday.



No. 9 hitter Scott Burcham broke the 1-1 tie in the top of the 10th inning with an infield single, stunning some 15,500 fans at Gocheok Sky Dome.

The dome will host all first round games in Pool A. South Korea will next face the Netherlands at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, and then Chinese Taipei at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

The top two nations after the round robin play will advance to the second round in Tokyo. South Korea is trying to erase the memories of a disappointing first-round exit at the 2013 tournament.

South Korean starter Chang Won-jun walked in Israel's first run in the bottom of the second.

He loaded the bases on two walks and a double, and then walked the No. 8 hitter, Tyler Krieger, to put South Korea in a 1-0 hole.

Chang avoided further damage, though, by striking out Burcham and getting Sam Fuld to hit into a groundout to first.

South Korea put a man on in every inning in regulation but eked out just one run against six Israel pitchers.

South Korea tied the score in the fifth as No. 2 hitter Seo Geon-chang delivered an RBI single.

South Korea's first two batters reached with a walk and a hit-by-pitch, chasing Zach Thornton, Israel's second pitcher, from the game.

Left-hander Jeremy Bleich came on to strike out Lee Yong-kyu in an eight-pitch at-bat, but then Seo jumped on the first pitch and drove it to left field to bring home South Korea's first run.

South Korea still had men at first and second with the heart of the order coming up, but Kim Tae-kyun and Lee Dae-ho each popped out. (Yonhap)