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(WBC) S. Korea needs victories, help from other teams to reach second round

All Headlines 20:34 March 03, 2013

By Yoo Jee-ho

TAICHUNG, Taiwan, March 3 (Yonhap) -- Following Taiwan's 8-3 win over the Netherlands on Sunday in the first round of the World Baseball Classic (WBC), South Korea's future in the tournament remains quite murky, with a handful of complicated scenarios.

From South Korea's Pool B, which also includes Taiwan, Australia and the Netherlands, the top two teams will book tickets to Tokyo for the second round.

Possibilities abound for South Korea. It has put itself in a deep hole after losing to the Netherlands 5-0 on Saturday. Winning the two remaining games won't guarantee South Korea will reach the next round. On the other hand, South Korea will still have a fighting chance, however slim, to advance even if it loses one more game.

If South Korea wins the remaining two contests and the Netherlands defeats Australia, then Taiwan, South Korea and the Netherlands will be tied with two wins and one loss each. The tiebreaker in a situation where three teams have the same winning percentage is the formula called Team's Quality Balance (TQB).

It is the sum of runs scored divided by the number of offensive innings, minus the number of runs allowed divided by the number of defensive innings. The team with the highest TQB will be declared the winner of the group. Only the scores from the games between the tied nations will count.

Though it may seem complicated, the goal is quite straightforward -- score more runs and give up fewer runs than the other teams.

If South Korea beats Australia Monday but loses to Taiwan Tuesday, it will need Australia to beat the Netherlands for a chance to advance. In such a case, South Korea, Australia and the Netherlands will all have the identical 1-2 record, while Taiwan will get one automatic berth in the second round at 3-0.

Since South Korea scored none and allowed five runs against the Netherlands, it will need to score as many runs as possible against Australia. Under the tournament's mercy rule, if a team is up by 15 runs through five or 10 runs through seven, the game will be called.

If only two teams are tied, the tiebreaker will be the head-to-head record. If South Korea wins the next two games and Australia beats the Netherlands on Monday, then South Korea and Taiwan will advance with the same 2-1 records, while the Dutch and the Australians will be sent packing with 1-2 records.

In a rare situation that three teams are still tied in their TQB, then the formula will only calculate earned runs. If three nations are deadlocked again, then the teams' batting average in games against each other will serve as the next tiebreaker.

South Korea will face Australia on Monday for the day's only match. Then on Tuesday, the final day of the first round, Australia and the Netherlands will square off at 12:30 p.m. South Korea will play Taiwan at 7:30 p.m.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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