• Korea, Australia rule Aspac Baseball

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    Korea and Australia crowned themselves champions in 2016 Asia Pacific Regional Baseball Tournament after dominating their respective finals rivals on Saturday at Clark International Sports Complex at The Villages.

    Korea gave Japan 11-0 spanking over five innings to repeat as AsPac Intermediate 50/70 champion and book a return trip to the World Series in Livermore, California, where it sets out to defend the diadem.

    Australia waylaid Guam also in regulation, 10-0, to cop its first ever AsPac Senior League Baseball crown and set its maiden appearance in the SLB Worlds on July 31-Aug. 6 in Bangor, Maine.

    Host Philippines capped its campaign in the tourney sponsored by Mister Donut and the Philippine Sports Commission on a winning note as its Senior League representative ILLAM and Intermediate bet Sarangani won their respective battles for third place.

    ILLAM leaned on a four-run binge in the fifth to score a 7-3 verdict over dethroned titlist Commonwealth of North Mariana Islands while Sarangani turned back Hong Kong, 13-12.

    Korea, which is represented by West Seoul Little League, opened the game with five runs off four hits in the top first to seize control even as pitcher Yok Dok woon presided over the defense and dished out a one-hit, five-strikeouts outing.

    “Our pitcher played very well and the big second inning got us going,” Korea’s team leader Shin Hyun Seok said through an interpreter.

    The Koreans widened the gap with Cho Minjoon’s two-run double and Lee Young Bin’s RBI single in the third and put the game beyond Japan’s reach with Yuk Dong Woo’s two-run base-hit in the fourth.

    Australia’s Melbourne team was as dominant in the Seniors finale against Guam, sending eight runners home off seven hits in the second stanza to set the tone for the one-sided win.

    “We ran the bases aggressively, took extra bases and scored runs consistently,” said South Mariners coach Rick Wills.

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