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South Korea, Japan advance to second round


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TOKYO (AP) - Olympic champion South Korea advanced to the second round of the World Baseball Classic on Sunday with a 14-0 rout of China in seven innings.

Defending champion Japan booked a place in the second round with a 14-2 win over Korea on Saturday. Japan and South Korea will meet on Monday to determine the top team in Pool A.

China, managed by former major league manager Terry Collins, was eliminated from the 16-nation tournament, along with Taiwan, which was knocked out on Saturday after a 4-1 loss to China.

Japan and South Korea both move on to the second round in San Diego, which begins on March 15 and also features the winner and runnerup from Pool B, which includes Cuba, Mexico, Australia and South Africa.

"We're thrilled to be going to the United States," said South Korea's manager Kim In-sik. "After a tough loss to Japan yesterday, I told my players all we needed was a win today and it didn't matter by how many runs."

South Korea starter Yoon Suk-min picked up the win after striking out four and holding China to two hits over six scoreless innings at Tokyo Dome

South Korea put the game out of reach with five runs in the bottom of the fifth, taking advantage of two costly errors by China to take a 9-0 lead.

Lee Jin-young gave South Korea a 5-0 lead on a single up the middle that was misplayed by China's second baseman Liu Guangbio. Choo Shin-soo of the Cleveland Indians hit a grounder through the legs of first baseman Chu Fujia allowing another run to score.

China relief pitcher Zhu Dawei walked in a run, Park Ki-hyuk reached on a fielding error by Liu allowing Choo to score and Lee Jong-wook drove in the ninth run of the game on a sacrifice fly to left.

The Koreans added five more runs in the bottom of the sixth and the game was called under the tournament's mercy rule when pitcher Lim Chang-yong recorded the final out in the top of the seventh.

Despite the one-sided loss, Collins was upbeat about the future of baseball in China after his team beat Taiwan and held Japan to four runs in the first game.

"This was a great experience for us," said Collins. "We did not play well tonight and the game got ugly, but I think the future is bright. I hope my players leave with the memory not of this game but the first two games in which we played well."

South Korea jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first.

Kim Hyun-soo drove in the first run with a line drive to right that scored the runner from third. Kim Tae-kyun added another run on a fielder's choice.

Lee Bum-ho gave South Korea a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run homer to left off China starter Sun Guoqiang, who took the loss after giving up four runs on three hits over four innings.

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