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Hanwha Eagles Take Pair of Exhibition Games From Australia National Team In Melbourne

 Matt Tallarini  |    Feb 20th, 2024 9:34am EST

The Hanwha Eagles of the Korean Baseball Organization in South Korea played a two game exhibition series against the Australia national team and won both games on Feb. 17-18 at Melbourne Ballpark in Laverton, Victoria, Australia.

The Eagles won 2-1 on Saturday and 5-3 on Sunday against the Australia national team in the International Baseball Showdown. 

Hanwha Eagles 2, Australia 1 – Saturday, Feb. 17 

Australia first baseman Rixon Wingrove had two hits against the Hanwha Eagles pitching staff and was the only player that had multiple hits for Australia. 

Australia’s pitching staff – between Tim Atherton, Steven Kent, Jon Kennedy, and Luke Wilkins – threw nine innings, allowing five hits, two earned runs, three walks, and notched 10 strikeouts during the first game of the exhibition series. 

The Hanwha Eagles pitching staff threw nine innings allowing seven hits, one earned run, five walks, and five strikeouts. Lee Tae-yang started for the Eagles and threw one inning and allowed one walk. 

Nine pitchers worked during the first game of the exhibition series for the Hanwha Eagles. Eagles relief pitcher Park Sang-won closed out the game and threw one inning, striking out two batters. 

Eagles’ relief pitcher Kim Kyu-yeon recorded the win after entering the game in the bottom of the second inning and allowing one hit, one earned run, and walking two. 

The Eagles got on the board first in the top of the first inning when third baseman Kim In-hwan lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring left fielder Jung Eun-Won for the first run of the game.

The only run of the game for Australia came from catcher Roger Perkins hitting an RBI groundout to third base, scoring designated hitter Alex Hall in the bottom of the second inning to tie the game at 1-1. 

During the top of the third inning, In-hwan singled to right field, scoring designated hitter Lee Jae-won to regain the lead for the Eagles at 2-1. 

Sangwon took care of the Australian offense and retired the side in order 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning and got center fielder Aaron Whitefield to strike out swinging for the final out of the game to win 2-1 in the first game of the exhibition series. 

Hanwha Eagles 5, Australia 3 – Sunday, Feb. 17

The Hanwha Eagles pitching staff allowed eight hits, three earned runs, six walks, and struck out three batters during Sunday’s win. 

Hanwha Eagles pitcher Carlos Pena started the game and threw one inning, allowing one hit and striking out one. Eagles reliever Han Seung-ju recorded the win after entering the game in the top of the sixth inning, allowing one hit and striking out one. 

The Australia pitching staff threw eight innings, allowing 14 hits, five earned runs, one walk, and notching three strikeouts. 

Australian starting pitcher Sam Holland threw three innings, allowing two hits and struck out one. 

Eagles’ relief pitcher Joo Hyun-sang got the save and allowed one hit, two walks, and struck out two during Sunday’s win. 

Australian first baseman Rixon Wingrove had two walks, three hits, and scored one run three at-bats. 

Australian third baseman Darryl George in five at-bats had two hits, two RBI, and two strikeouts. 

Australia national team center fielder Aaron Whitefield with five at-bats scored one run and recorded two hits. 

Australia catcher Alex Hall had three at-bats with one walk, one RBI, and one strikeout. 

Hanwha Eagles third baseman Roh Si-hwan had two at-bats and recorded one hit and one RBI. 

Eagles first baseman Kim In-hwan launched a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning and finished Sunday with two at-bats scoring one run, smacking two hits, and one RBI. 

Hanwha Eagles second baseman Jung Eun-won recorded two hits in two at-bats. 

Eagles third baseman Ha Ju-Suk had two at-bats and scored one run, smacking two hits and one RBI during Sunday’s 5-3 win. 

The Hanwha Eagles finished the 2023 regular season in ninth place with their record 58-80-6 and did not make the KBO playoffs under manager Choi Won-ho. 

The Hanwha Eagles will play on the road against the LG Twins to start the 2024 KBO regular season on March 23 at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul, South Korea. No game start times have yet been announced. 

Australia is ranked No. 11 in the World Baseball Rankings will play in the WBSC Premier 12 tournament hosted by the World Baseball Softball Confederation from Nov. 10-24, following the conclusion of the seasons in Major League Baseball, Liga Mexicana de Beisbol, the Korean Baseball Organization, Nippon Professional Baseball, and the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan. 

The Tokyo Dome will host the Super Round and medal games in the 2024 WBSC Premier 12. The Super Round will be from Nov. 21-23, followed by the bronze and gold medal game on November 24.  

The teams will be split into two groups and play in a round-robin format, with the top two finishers in each group advancing to the Super Round. The top two teams in the Super Round will play in the gold medal game, and third- and fourth-place teams in the Super Round will play in the bronze medal game.  

Group A will be held in the WBSC Americas sector at a location to be determined from Nov. 10-14.  

Group B will be played at the Nagoya Dome, home of the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball on November 13, and in Taipei City, Taiwan, from November 14-18.

The WBSC will announce where the WBSC Premier 12 tournament games will be streamed on their social media pages during the upcoming months.