2015 WBSC Premier 12: S Korea crowned Premier12 Global Champions, defeat USA 8-0 in finale
The U.S. struggled to put any offense together in an 8-0 defeat to Korea in the WBSC Premier12™ Final in Tokyo on Saturday night.
Korea didn't waste any time in the first inning as the first two runners reached base on a leadoff single by K.W. Jeong and an RBI double from Y.K. Lee to take a 1-0 lead. Korea was primed to add to the lead after loading the bases with one out, but U.S. starting pitcher Zack Segovia (Uni-Lions-CPBL) induced an inning ending 4-6-3 double play.
Segovia's night was over early as he left the game in the third following a leadoff walk and an RBI double by H.S. Kim that gave Korea a 2-0 lead. Brooks Pounders (Royals) replaced Segovia in the third and retired the side to send the U.S. to the bottom half down 2-0.
The U.S. battled at the plate, but couldn't get anything going early on as Korean starter K.H. Kim mixed his pitches effectively to keep hitters guessing. Kim went a masterful five innings as he allowed four hits, while striking out five batters and walking none.
Pounders ran into trouble in the fourth as Korea opened up a 7-0 lead. H.S. Kim's second RBI double of the night and a three run homerun by B.H. Park blew the game wide open.
Anthony Vasquez (Phillies) came on to relieve Pounders in the fourth and lasted 1 1/3 before he was replaced by John Church (Mets) in the sixth.
Church made one pitch in a one out bases loaded jam to get out of the inning. A fly ball was caught in right by Brett Phillips (Brewers) who then threw home to start a 9-2-5 putout that caught the Korean runner trying to tag from third.
The U.S. offense was non-existent as the squad could only put up five hits on the night. The Korean pitching staff played a big role as they threw off speed pitches early in counts and surprised the U.S. hitters with velocity late in at-bats.
Team USA finishes the Premier12™ with a record of 5-3 and will take home the silver medal and $600,000 in prize money. Both professional teams fielded by USA Baseball this year have come up just short of gold, with the USA Baseball Men's Pan-Am team winning silver in Toronto.
After the game the WBSC named the All-World Team, which included Team USA's second baseman Adam Frazier (Pirates) and outfielder Matt McBride (Rockies).
Willie Randolph quote book:
"We just got beat very thoroughly tonight by a very good Korean team tonight. They are very well balanced and they just swing the bats really well and they pitched really well. Again, give them a lot of credit because they came to play today, we did too, but they had guys who were pitching well and we didn't put any offense together."
"I'm proud of my guys, we came together really quick and we talked about it earlier but I feel just as good about these guys today as I did when I first met them. They gave me everything they had today, but Korea was just better."
"This team has always stepped up and we don't make excuses, from day one we've talked about next man up and picking each other up every day."
"You always get to that point where it's do-or-die and we got there today, but today's game was indicative of how they played much better than we did."
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