KOREA and Australia claimed 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 in Clark, Pampanga.
Korea downed Japan, 11-0, to repeat as AsPac Intermediate 50/70 champion and book a return trip to the World Series in Livermore, California.
Australia waylaid Guam, 10-0, to cop its first ever AsPac Senior League Baseball crown and set its maiden appearance in the SLB Worlds from July 31 to Aug. 6 in Bangor, Maine.
The Philippines capped its campaign on a winning note as its Senior League representative ILLAM and Intermediate bet Sarangani salvaged third place.
ILLAM leaned on a four-run binge in the fifth to score a 7-3 win over dethroned titlist Commonwealth of North Mariana Islands, while Sarangani turned back Hong Kong, 13-12.
Korea, 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 frame 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.