Yamada Tetsuto's three-run double with two outs in the bottom of the eighth was the difference Wednesday as Japan advanced to the Olympic baseball gold medal game with a 5-2 win over South Korea.
Japan nearly went through the eighth quietly. With one out and one man on base, Japan's Kensuke Kondoh hit a founder that South Korea couldn't quite turn into a double play. The play was reviewed to see if Kondoh had veered from the base path, but the play was upheld.
South Korea then intentionally walked Murakami Munetaka, then unintentionally walked Kai Takuya to load the bases for Yamada.
In the ninth, South Korea got a runner to second but could manage nothing else against reliever Kuribayashi Ryoji.
Japan scored its first run with two sacrifices in the third inning. Yamada bunted to advance Murakami and Kai Takuya to third and second after each player singled. Sakamoto Hayato drove in Murakami with a sacrifice fly.
Yamada was also involved in the second Japanese run, starting the fifth inning with a double and scoring on a single by Yoshida Masataka.
South Korea tied the game in the sixth on RBI singles by Kang Bae-kho and Kim Hyun-soo.
On Thursday, South Korea will play the United States, with the winner advancing to play Japan for gold and the loser playing the Dominican Republic for bronze. Both medal games will be on Saturday.