South Korean players celebrate after defeating Australia in the first round of the World Baseball Classic in Taiwan, Monday. (Yonhap News)
South Korea defeated Australia 6-0 in the first round of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) on Monday, staying alive in the tournament after the devastating loss to the Netherlands last week.
In the Pool B contest at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium, South Korea built an early lead and held on for its first win at this year's WBC.
Starter Song Seung-jun held the Australians scoreless over four innings and Lee Seung-yeop and Lee Dae-ho, batting third and fourth, each had three hits for South Korea, improving its record to 1-1.
The final Pool B match for South Korea is against Taiwan on Tuesday. Australia has been eliminated from the tournament at 0-2.
It had earlier lost to Taiwan 4-1 on Saturday.
South Korea dug itself into a deep hole after losing to the Netherlands 5-0 on Saturday. There are now several different scenarios for South Korea to reach the second round as one of the top two teams from Pool B. If South Korea beats Taiwan and Australia beats the Netherlands, then South Korea and Taiwan will move on.
In case of a South Korean win and a Dutch win on Tuesday, then Taiwan, South Korea and the Netherlands will all have a 2-1 record, and they will go to a tiebreaker.
South Korea will still have a slim chance to advance even if it loses to Taiwan. A South Korean loss and an Australian win will put South Korea, Australia and the Netherlands in a three-way tie at 1-2, and a tiebreaker will be necessary to determine who will place second behind Taiwan in Pool B.
Japan and Cuba have advanced to the second round from Pool A and will play the top two Pool B nations at Tokyo Dome starting Friday.(Yonhap News)