By Yoo Jee-ho
TOKYO, March 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's fate at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) will be determined Monday, the final day of the opening round in Tokyo.
After dropping the first two games before winning Sunday's game over the Czech Republic, South Korea will need plenty of help from that same Czech Republic team, and also Australia, to reach the quarterfinals.
Australia lost to Japan 7-1 on Sunday night to drop to 2-1 for the tournament. South Korea and the Czech Republic are both 1-2 after Sunday's results.
This left open the possibility of a three-way tie for these countries at 2-2. For that to materialize, the Czech Republic must beat Australia in the first game Monday starting at noon, and South Korea must beat China in the nightcap beginning at 7 p.m., both at Tokyo Dome.
If Australia prevails over the Czech Republic, then Australia will join Japan in the quarterfinals, and South Korea will be eliminated in the opening round for the third consecutive WBC.
In case of a three-way deadlock, the countries will go to a tiebreaker based on runs allowed.
The first tiebreaking criterion is the lowest quotient of runs given up divided by defensive outs in games between the tied teams.
South Korea allowed 11 runs in 18 innings against the two teams, accounting for 54 outs. South Korea's quotient is .204.
The Czech Republic gave up seven runs over 24 outs against South Korea on Sunday. The Czechs only pitched eight innings because South Korea batted last and didn't have to play the bottom ninth with a lead.
The Czechs will be the home team against Australia on Monday, meaning they will have pitched at least nine innings if they win.
If the Czech Republic's quotient is to be higher than South Korea's, the European team must allow at least four runs while beating Australia. This also means Australia, to help South Korea, has to score at least four runs without winning.
In that case, the Czechs will have surrendered 11 runs over 51 outs versus South Korea and Australia, for the quotient of .216.
However, if the Czech Republic walks off on Australia 5-4 in 10 innings -- three extra outs -- then the Czechs and South Korea will have the same quotient.
The next tiebreaking criterion will look at earned runs allowed, instead of just runs.
If the two countries are still tied -- neither South Korea nor the Czech Republic has allowed an unearned run -- then the team batting average will determine the rankings.
South Korea went 11-for-33, a .333 batting average, against the Czech Republic in Sunday's win. The Czech Republic hit 6-for-33, or .182, against South Korea.
If they are still tied after all this, there will be a "drawing of lots," whereby the winner will be picked out of a hat.