South Korea feast on Taiwan pitching to take baseball gold

GUANGZHOU, China Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:29am EST

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GUANGZHOU, China (Reuters) - South Korea belted three home runs on their way to a 9-3 victory over holders Taiwan on Friday to clinch the gold medal at the Guangzhou Asian Games.

Kang Jung-ho twice cleared the fence and drove in five runs at a packed Aoti baseball stadium while Cleveland Indians slugger Choo Shin Soo had two RBIs.

"Winning the gold is a dream come true for me," said Choo, who could now be excused from mandatory two-year military service at home.

"I will now be able to focus strictly on baseball. A lot of fans and players have been concerned about my future and that led to great results here. It is an honor to wear the national flag and win the gold medal for my country."

Taiwan, also beaten 6-1 by South Korea in the preliminary pool, had eight hits but left eight runners stranded on base.

"Today we won the silver medal but we are not satisfied. Our goal is to defend our gold. However, we have to accept the result," said Taiwan manager Yeh Chih Shien.

Japan took the bronze by thrashing hosts China 6-2 with pitcher Kota Suda picking up the win.

(Editing by Justin Palmer)

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