South Korea crashed out of the 2023 World Baseball Classic before a single pitch was thrown in their last game as Australia beat the Czech Republic 8-3 on Monday afternoon to advance behind Japan.
Team Korea’s game against China at 7 p.m. at the Tokyo Dome is now little more than an exhibition after Australia coasted to the single-elimination stage with three wins, including their shock victory over Korea last Thursday.
In the surprise loss, Australia opened the scoring with a single run in the top of the fourth inning followed by another in the fifth, only for Korea to respond with three runs in their at-bat.
Although Korea added a fourth run in the sixth, Australia stormed into the lead with three runs each in the seventh and eighth innings. Korea could only manage a three-run response at the bottom of the eighth, ultimately losing 8-7.
The chances of progressing to the quarterfinals were further slashed for Korea as they faced tournament favorites Japan at the same venue the following night. Despite taking the lead in the top of the third, Japan rallied to bag seven runs in five innings, resulting in a devastating 13-4 annihilation for Korea.
A 7-3 win over the Czech Republic on Sunday gave Team Korea a glimmer of hope, but their fate was still heavily reliant on the Czech squad winning in an ideal fashion that would give Korea a better runs-allowed quotient.
With a 12-2 thrashing of China last Friday and a win over the Czech Republic on Monday, Australia secured their place in the single-elimination stage to send Korea packing.