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Seoul overcomes errors, strikeouts to beat Greensboro

Game #2: Seoul, Korea 5  Greensboro, NC 4

In a rematch of last year’s 9-8 thriller in which Seoul, Korea scored six runs in the bottom of the seventh to conclude a walk-off victory, the Asia-Pacific Zone Champion once again defeated East Zone Champion Greensboro, North Carolina by one run (5-4). Seoul overcame five errors and 10 strikeouts on the day thanks to solid pitching by its six pitchers used.

Greensboro jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first, when Isaiah Hairston recorded an RBI
ground out to score Noah Lea. Then, Isaiah Rhem hit an RBI single to the left side, scoring Cody Donnell to put North Carolina up 2-0. The Koreans got a run back in the bottom of the first, when Hyeok Gyung Kwon singled to left field, scoring Hyun Kyu Choi from second. Previously, Choi had walked and stole second.

Seoul took the lead in the bottom of the second. Woong Chan Lee singled up the middle and was moved around to third, after a sacrifice bunt and 
ground out. With two outs, Ha Min Seo singled to shortstop, scoring Chan, which tied the game at 2-2. Min Gu Kang hit a bomb to deep centerfield, bringing Sea around to score.

The East Zone Champions countered in the top of the fourth. With runners on first and second with one out, Justin Brady scored on a wild pitch that also advanced Derek Martinez 90 feet to third. After a pop out, back-to-back walks allowed Martinez to score (4-3), but that’s all Greensboro would get in the inning. 

The turning point in the game came in the bottom of the fourth. Hyeon Sang Bae led off the inning with a walk, and Bae advanced to second thanks to a Geon Woo Park single. Jun Sang Kim sacrificed bunted to propel his teammates forward a base. Bae scored during the following at-bat to Min Gu Kang on a wild pitch (4-4). Choi singled home Park to give Seoul a lead it would not relinquish 5-4.

Hong Ju Kang and Jun Young Park shut down the Greensboro offense over the final three innings. Kang recorded four strikeouts and induced a double play, prior to Park closing out the final two outs in the top of the seventh.

Following the victory, Seoul advances to Game #8 to take on West Zone Champion and 2017 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pony World Series Champion Covina, California tomorrow at 6 p.m. CT/US. Meanwhile, the loss drops Greensboro into the loser’s bracket. North Carolina will face the loser of Game #4 between Southern Illinois and Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico in Game #6 11:30 a.m. tomorrow.

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