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KBO releases spring schedule

South Korea’s top baseball league announced Thursday that the 2013 preseason will kick off on March 9.

The nine teams of the Korea Baseball Organization will each play 12 games during the preseason from March 9-24. For the 2013 season, the KBO will welcome the NC Dinos, the league’s first expansion team since 1991.

All games will start at 1 p.m., the KBO said. Rained-out games will be canceled and will not be made up at a future date.

Also, there will be no extra innings in preseason games.

The regular season will start on March 30.

Professional baseball here has enjoyed an unprecedented boom in recent years, as the KBO broke its single-season attendance record in each of the past four seasons.

The surge in popularity has been attributed to South Korea’s success at international baseball events.

The country won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and finished runner-up at the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

This year’s WBC is set for March 2-19. (Yonhap News)