Japan walk off Korea in final to win Asia Professional Baseball Championship undefeated

Japan walk off Korea in final to win Asia Professional Baseball Championship undefeated
The defending Olympic, World Baseball Classic and Premier12 champions won in front of over 44,000 fans at the Tokyo Dome.

Japan defeated Korea in 10 innings, 4-3, and claimed the Asia Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) undefeated. The final was played in front of 41,883 fans at the Tokyo Dome.

Korea took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth. Samurai Japan scored one run in the fifth and one in the sixth to take the game to the extra innings.

Korea scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th on a two-out single by right fielder Dong-Hee Yoon off Kojiro Yoshimura, but Japan came back with two runs in the bottom half of the frame.

Japan bunted the tie-break runners to second and third. Shogo Sakakura tied the game with a sacrifice fly and second baseman Makoto Kadowaki hit a walk-off single off Jung Hai Young to give Japan the win.

"What a relief," said manager Hirokazu Ibata to the Kyodo News agency. "The players' hard work made the win possible, and I'm grateful to them."

He added: "He [Kadowaki] had been over-swinging a bit, but at the end he took it easily up the middle."

Chinese Taipei overcame Australia, 4-3, in the third-place game, scoring the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.

Asia Professional Baseball Championship results

Thursday 16 November

Korea-Australia 3-2 (10 innings)
Japan-Chinese Taipei 4-0

Friday 17 November

Chinese Taipei-Australia 6-0 (10 innings)
Japan-Korea 2-1

Saturday 18 November

Japan-Australia 10-0 (8 innings)
Korea-Chinese Taipei 6-1

Sunday 19 November

FIRST PLACE Japan-Korea 4-3 (10 innings)
THIRD PLACE Chinese Taipei-Australia 4-3

Kadowaki earned MVP honours and was named to the All-Tournament team as the best second baseman. The rest of the All-APBC Team:

PITCHER: Ichiro Sumida (Japan)
CATCHER: Alex Hall (Australia)
FIRST BASEMAN: Soh-Si Hwan (Korea)
THIRD BASEMAN: Teruaki Sato (Japan)
SHORTSTOP: Ju-Won Kim (Korea)
OUTFIELDERS: Shota Morishita, Chusei Mannami (Japan), Tien-Hsin Kuo (Korea)
DESIGNATED HITTER: Chieh-Hsien Chen (Chinese Taipei)