GREENWELL Point's Tim Atherton and his Australian team have fallen to South Korea 5-nil in their opening Premier12 Group C game at Gocheok Sky Dome on Wednesday.
Korean starting pitcher Hyeon-jong Yang stifled Australia's offence, striking out 10 and allowing just one hit in six impressive innings on the mound.
Young-ha Lee, Yong-chan Lee and Jong-hyan Won then combined to complete the shutout as Australia was limited to just one hit.
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Despite Atherton starting on the mound, Australia fell behind 2-nil in the second inning, after Korea scored on back-to-back pitches through Hyun-soo Kim and Byung-hun Min.
Steve Kent replaced his Berkeley Eagles teammate Atherton on the mound to start the third and Korea capitalised, as Ha-seong Kim made it 3-nil.
Atherton's Aussies took until the fourth inning to get its first baserunner, after Robbie Glendinning hit a single.
Kyoung-min Hur singled up the middle off Australian reliever Todd van Steensel to drive home Jae-hwan Kim (walk) and add to Korea's lead in the sixth.
Korea finished with seven hits to one, while also drawing eight walks.
Australia continues its Premier12 campaign against Cuba, who lost their opener to Canada 3-nil, on Thursday at Gocheok Sky Dome.
The top two teams from each group advance to the super round in Japan.
Australia must advance to the super round and finish higher than South Korea and Chinese Taipei at Premier12 to punch its ticket to next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo at its first attempt.