LaRoche homers as U.S. reaches World Cup semifinals

Updated: November 16, 2007, 4:25 PM ET
Associated Press

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- New York Yankees pitcher Jeff Karstens struck out seven in seven innings, and Dodgers prospect Andy LaRoche hit a two-run homer in the first inning to lead the United States over South Korea 3-1 Friday and move the Americans into the semifinals of the Baseball World Cup.

Karstens (2-0) allowed one run and five hits, and Lee Gronkiewicz and Jeff Stevens finished the six-hitter for the Americans, who play the Netherlands on Saturday.

LaRoche, a third-base prospect for the Dodgers, put the United States ahead 2-0 with his third homer of the tournament, a drive that followed Jayson Nix's single.

Nix doubled in the third, LaRoche walked and Steven Pearce singled for a 3-0 lead.

South Korea scored in the sixth, paced by consecutive hits from Joo Chan Kim and Seung Hwa Lee.

The Netherlands upset host Taiwan 6-3 in 11 innings, and Japan beat Australia 3-0.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press