02/11/2019 - 17/11/2019

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Hosted by:   JPN KOR MEX TPE

II Premier12 2019 - Official Payoff

Japan beat Korea, climb on top of the world


Samurai Japan made a crowd of 44,960 ecstatic as they overcame an early deficit to defeat Korea, 5-3, in the final and became the champions of the WBSC Premier12 2019.

First baseman Tetsuto Yamada put Japan ahead in the bottom of the second with a three-run homer off Korea's superstar starter Yang Hyeonjong.

Japan's starter Shun Yamaguchi didn't go beyond the first inning. Six relievers limited Korea to three hits during the rest of the night.

Korea wasted no time in getting to Shun Yamaguchi. The Yomiuri Giants 15-game winner walked lead off hitter Lee Jung-hoo on six pitches and then allowed a home run to shortstop Kim Ha-seong.

Left fielder Kim Hyun-soo followed with a solo shot that gave Yang Hyeonjong, a former KBO MVP, a three-run lead to work with.

Yang Hyeonjong retired the first batter of the bottom of the first, then he walked shortstop Hayato Sakamoto. Seiya Suzuki added some more power hitting to his MVP candidature with a double off the wall and put Samurai Japan on the board.

The bottom of the second was the game-changer. Yang Hyeonjong walked catcher Aizawa. Second baseman Ryosuke Kikuchi singled and Tetsuto Yamada added the three-run homer that gave Japan a lead they would not surrender.

Rei Takahashi and Kazuto Taguchi pitched two innings each and allowed three hits. The rest of the bullpen was perfect. Kota Nakagawa, Hiroshi Kaino, Yoshinubo Yamamoto and Yasuaki Yamasaki each pitched one inning and didn't allow Korea a runner, striking out six.

A great diving catch by second baseman Kim Sang-su prevented two Japanese runs in the bottom of the fourth.

Samurai managed to add an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh as Hideto Asamura singled to score Hayato Sakamoto.

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