Dominicans turn back South Korea for country's first Olympic baseball medal

Infielder Erick Mejia of the Dominican Republic celebrates scoring a run with his team mate Jeison Guzman after a two-run double by Juan Francisco during the bronze medal game between Dominican Republic and South Korea.
Infielder Erick Mejia of the Dominican Republic celebrates scoring a run with his team mate Jeison Guzman after a two-run double by Juan Francisco during the bronze medal game between Dominican Republic and South Korea.

BOX SCORE

Juan Francisco's two-run, opposite-field double snapped a tie game in the eighth inning, and Johan Miesas followed with a two-run homer to lead the Dominican Republic past South Korea on Saturday, 10-6, to claim the bronze medal of the baseball tournament at the Tokyo Olympics. 

South Korea, which claimed gold in baseball's previous appearance as an Olympic medal sport at Beijing 2008, was down by four runs before taking a single swing at Yokohama Stadium.

But after scraping together a four-spot in the bottom of the fifth inning to move ahead 6-5 and keeping the D.R. off the scoreboard in innings six and seven, South Korea was helpless to stop the Caribbean powerhouse from pouring it on to take command with a five-run eighth.

Miesas, an outfielder who was promoted to Triple-A ball with the Boston Red Sox in June, finished with two hits and scored three runs for the Dominicans. 

Former Major League Baseball All-Star Melky Cabrera banged out four hits in his first four trips to the plate for the winners, who last dominated the international stage by winning the World Baseball Classic in 2013.

South Korean's players just missed out on earning government exemptions from the country's mandatory 18-month military service; such exemptions are a reward for any South Korean winning an Olympic medal of any shade.