*Seung-Yeop Lee lifts Korea past Japan to win Pool A*
TOKYO (Ticker) - Seung-Yeop Lee's power did not disappear
against a tougher opponent.

Lee smacked a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning as
Korea edged rival Japan, 3-2, to win Pool A of the World
Baseball Classic.

On Saturday, Lee belted a pair of homers and drove in five runs
as Korea rolled to a 10-1 victory over China.

In this one, Korea (3-0) trailed, 2-1, before Lee plated Jong
Beom Lee with a homer to right-center field off Hirotoshi Ishii.

"I had been suffering from the flu and did not feel well
yesterday," Lee said through an interpreter.  "That's why I was
the DH.  Today I felt much better, and the key to the home run
was timing."

Dae-Sung Koo and Chan Ho Park made the lead stand for Korea,
with Park ending the contest by inducing Ichiro Suzuki to pop
out to shortstop.

"The key to the game tonight was our pitching," Korean manager
In-Sik Kim said through an interpreter.  "They were able to shut
down the Japanese batters effectively."

Despite the loss, Japan (2-1) will join Korea in the second
round of the 16-nation event.  The Asian teams will be grouped
with the top two teams of Pool B - which includes the United
States - in the next round, which will be held in Anaheim,
California from March 12-16.

"I would like to thank the Korean fans who came to Japan for
their support," Kim said of a small but devoted group of
supporters in left field.  "I hope they can afford to go to the
U.S. to support us as well."

The teams will meet again on March 15.

"We'll be looking for revenge in that game against Korea,"
Japanese manager Sadaharu Oh said through an interpreter.

Japan opened the scoring on Nobuhiko Matsunaka's RBI single off
Korean starter Sunny Kim in the bottom of the first, and
Munemori Kawasaki doubled the advantage with a solo homer one
frame later.

The hosts had a chance to blow open the game in the bottom of
the fourth, but with the bases loaded and two out, Korean right
fielder Jin Young Lee snared a line drive by Tsuyoshi Nishioka
that would have cleared the bases.

"We had our chances but couldn't score because the korean
pitchers were good and the play in right field saved the game,"
Oh said.

Korea pulled within 2-1 on a sacrifice fly by Byung Kyu Lee off
Japanese starter Shunsuke Watanabe in the top of the fifth.
 

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