Ichiro, Japan Crushes Korea, Clinching Second Round Seed in WBC

Hayato UwaiCorrespondent IMarch 7, 2009

After going 0-for-5 against China, Ichiro heats up for Japan.

Defending WBC champion Japan crushed Korea 14-2, clinching their second round seed in San Diego.  Ichiro had 3 hits, including a lead-off single in the first inning, which started the Japan's three run inning.

After Japan's three run first, Korea's Tae Kyun Kim had a two run homer off Daisuke Matsuzaka to make the game an one run ball game.

But in the second, Japan's Hiroyuki Nakazima took a bases loaded walk to give Japan a two run lead. Japan scored five runs in the inning, including Shunichi Murata's three run homer, giving Japan a six run lead already in the second.

Matsuzaka calmed down after all, giving up two runs in four innings pitched. Japan continued to score, and the mercy rule has been called after the 7th inning.

The winning pitcher is Matsuzaka, and the losing pitcher is Kwang-Hyun Kim(8 earned runs in 1.1 innings pitched).

Japan now has two wins in the Tokyo round, which will automatically clinch their spot in the second round. Korea will face China (1-1) on Sunday and the winner of this one will move to the second round. Japan will have one more game, against the winner of Korea vs. China.

Upcoming Games


Pool C
Canada vs. United States
Italy vs. Venezuela

Pool D
Netherlands vs. Dominican Republic
Panama vs. Puerto Rico

Pool A
China vs. Korea
Winner of China/Korea vs. Japan

Pool B
South Africa vs. Cuba
Australia vs. Mexico

Pool C
Winner of Canada/United States vs. Winner of Italy/Venezuela

Pool D
Loser of Panama/Puerto Rico vs. Loser of Netherlands/Dominican Republic