2007 Asian Championship
The 2007 Asian Championship was a qualifying tournament for the 2008 Olympics held in Taiwan from November 27 through December 3, 2007. The winning team, Japan secured an Olympic bid. The second- and third- place teams, South Korea and Taiwan advanced to the final Olympic qualifier. Shinnosuke Abe of Japan is named MVP.
For full roster information, see 2007 Asian Championship (Rosters)
The Pool B matches determine which will be the fourth team in the final round, joining Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. The Thai national team was coming off of its first Baseball World Cup appearance, while the Philippines had played in the BWC a few times in the past.
- Philippines 2, Pakistan 0
- Thailand 8, Hong Kong 4. This was Hong Kong's debut in an Asian Championship.
- Pakistan 5, Thailand 3
- Philippines 4, Hong Kong 1
- Thailand 0, Philippines 0 (12 innings) - the Philippines clinched a spot in the next round with their tie against their closest rival in terms of talent.
- Hong Kong 8, Pakistan 6. This marked Hong Kong's first win in an Asian Championship.
The favorites were Japan, fresh off of a Bronze Medal in the 2007 Baseball World Cup but with a much better team for this event. South Korea had finished 5th in the World Cup with their B-team and brought their A-team here; a win by the team would not be a surprise. Taiwan had also played in the Olympics in the past. Despite sending their A-team, they only finished 8th in the World Cup. They had home field advantage at least. The Philippines were considered an unlikely contender.
- South Korea 5, Taiwan 2. Chin-Feng Chen put the home team ahead early with a RBI single but a 3-run homer from Jeong-wook Lee in the fifth decided this one for the Koreans. Jin-man Park added a solo homer. En-Yu Lin struck out 10 in five innings in a losing effort. For South Korea, the pitching combination of Hyun-jin Ryu, Chan-ho Park, Won-sam Jang and Tae-hyon Chong was simply too effective.
- Japan 10, Philippines 0. In a game ended after 7 by the mercy rule, the Philippines managed only one hit against Hideaki Wakui and Hiroyuki Kobayashi as Japan cruised to an expected win.
- Taiwan 9, Philippines 0. The host country locked up their win early when Chin-Feng Chen hit a 3-run 1-out homer in the first. Ying-Chieh Lin threw seven shutout innings for Taiwan.
- Japan 4, South Korea 3. The game began with controversy as both teams changed their minds about their pitchers against an earlier gentleman's agreement on who would start. South Korea then adjusted their lineup in response, angering Japan. Byung-ho Jun replaced Jae-kuk Ryu as the South Korean starter while Yoshihisa Naruse was given the call for Japan. 2B Young-min Ko homered in the first to give South Korea the lead. In the second, though, 1B Takahiro Arai doubled and scored on a LF Saburo Omura single. Ko then turned from hero to goat with an error on a grounder by 3B Masahiko Morino to put Japan ahead 2-1. In the third, C Shinnosuke Abe drove in a run to put Japan ahead 3-1. CF Taek-keun Lee doubled in a run in the fourth to make it 3-2. The bullpens then turned in fine efforts. In the 8th, RF Atsunori Inaba had a RBI single off Taek-hyun Ryu for a 4-2 lead but Hitoki Iwase allowed one run in the bottom of the 8th and allowed two more runners on before escaping the jam. Thankfully, Koji Uehara turned in a perfect 9th inning for Japan to lock up the game. Kenshin Kawakami got the win and Uehara the save.
- South Korea 13, Philippines 1. The Philippines at least get a run but lose handily yet again. 2B Young-min Ko drove in four runs and was a triple shy of the cycle and SS Min-jae Kim went 3 for 3. Jae-kuk Ryu threw five scoreless innings for the win.
- Japan 10, Taiwan 2. Chin-Feng Chen continued to spark Taiwan, hitting a 2-run homer, but that's all they got against Yu Darvish, who only allowed 3 hits in over 7 innings. Takahiro Arai drove in three and cracked one homer in the rout as Japan locked up a spot in the Beijing Olympics.
- Average: Shinnosuke Abe, Japan .769
- HR: Young-min Ko, South Korea & Chin-Feng Chen, Taiwan 2
- RBI: Chin-Feng Chen, Taiwan 6
- R: Young-min Ko, South Korea 6
- SB: Munenori Kawasaki, Japan 2
- ERA: Ying-Chieh Lin, Taiwan 0.00 (7 IP)
- Strikeouts: En-Yu Lin, Taiwan 10
- Saves: Koji Uehara, Japan 1