The Korean U-18 youth baseball team was completely defeated by the host country, Taiwan, in the first game of the World Youth Baseball Championship 스포츠토토.
The Korean national team, led by coach Lee Young-bok, lost 1-6 to Taiwan in the first game of the preliminary round of the 2023 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) World Youth Baseball Championship (U-18) held in Taichung, Taiwan on the 2nd.
The start went smoothly. Leadoff batter Park Si-hyun hit a hit to right and ran all the way to second base while the opposing defense missed the ball. Park Si-hyun, who had advanced to third base thanks to Lee Chung-heon’s sacrifice bunt, was brought home by Yeo Dong-geon with a timely hit to right, scoring the first run. Korea leads 1-0.
However, the mound could not withstand Taiwan’s batting lineup. Korea’s starting pitcher was left-hander Hwang Jun-seo (18, Jangchung High School), who is likely to be ranked first overall in the 2024 KBO rookie draft. Hwang Jun-seo sent out the lead batter in the bottom of the first inning due to a catching error by right fielder Seung-min Lee, and then allowed a stolen base to face the crisis with 2 outs and runners on third base. Here, he gave up a timely hit to left field to Wang Nian Hao. The score is tied 1-1.
Hwang Jun-seo, who went through the bottom of the second inning without giving up a run, was shaken after one out in the bottom of the third inning, sending out a runner with a ball that hit his body and giving up a balk, a wild pitch, and even a walk. In a crisis with one out and runners on first and third base, he allowed consecutive hits to pinch hitters Qiu Xin and Lee Sun Chi-ae, giving up an additional run. With runners on first and third base, Kim Taek-yeon (18, Incheon High School), who took over the mound, gave up one more point on a heavy hit by Huang Tien-Ze, increasing Hwang Jun-seo’s earned runs. Hwang Jun-seo finished his first game with 2⅓ innings, 5 hits, 3 walks (2 walks, 1 hit to the body), 3 strikeouts, and 4 runs (3 earned).
The national team, unable to mount an offensive attack after scoring in the first inning, gave up one more run to Taiwan in the bottom of the 4th inning with a double, consecutive walks, and a timely hit, and in the bottom of the 6th inning, a left-field hit, a stolen base, and a defensive error resulted in a loss, with a final score of 1-6. did.
Meanwhile, the national team was scheduled to play the first game of the preliminary round against Puerto Rico on the 1st, but it was canceled due to rain, so the team will return the rest day on the 6th and continue the preliminary round. Due to the influence of Typhoon Haikui, the 11th typhoon passing through Taiwan, all games on the 3rd will be played ahead of schedule, and the second match of the preliminary round between the national team and the Czech Republic will be adjusted from 19:30 to 16:00.
In this tournament, Korea is placed in Group A with Taiwan, Australia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the Czech Republic and must place in the top 3 of the group to advance to the super round.