(Asiad) S. Korea hammers Hong Kong in its Asian Games opener

Three-time defending champion South Korea hammered Hong Kong 10-0 to open its gold medal defense at the 19th Asian Games on Sunday.

In the first Group A match at Shaoxing Baseball and Softball Sports Centre in Shaoxing, southeast of the main host city, Hangzhou, South Korea batted around and scored seven runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to end the game on a mercy rule.

Starter Won Tae-in gave up only one hit and struck out eight in four scoreless innings, while four other pitchers took the mound and held Hong Kong scoreless in remaining innings.

In the first inning, South Korea scored the first run on Moon Bo-gyeong's single to bring home Choi Ji-hoon from second.

In the fourth, South Korea went up 3-0 on Kim Hye-seong's two-RBI double with the bases loaded.

After four scoreless innings, South Korea exploded in the eighth inning. Starting with Kim Hye-seong's double, 10 batters drove in seven runs to extend the lead to 10-0.

South Korea will face Chinese Taipei on Monday, its biggest rival for the top seed in Group B, comprising of four teams. It will take on Thailand on the next day in the last round-robin group round match.

The top two teams from Group A and Group B advance to the next Super Round and play with teams from other groups to decide two finalists.

Managed by Ryu Joong-il, South Korea came to Hangzhou with an under-24 team from its top domestic competition, the Korea Baseball Organization, to try to claim its fourth consecutive gold medal.

Source: Yonhap News Agency