BEIJING, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- A sacrifice fly by Lee Jong-wook in the ninth inning Wednesday lifted South Korea an 8-7 win over the United States in their Olympic baseball opener.
The Americans rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth to take a one-run lead but the Koreans scored twice in the bottom half off reliever Jeff Stevens.
Mike Hessman began the United States' rally with a home run and Mike Brown delivered a two-run single.
It was the first Olympic baseball game for the Americans in eight years. After winning the gold medal in Sydney, the United States failed to qualify for the Athens Games.
In other action Wednesday, Taiwan shut out the Netherlands 5-0, Canada was a 10-0 winner over China and Cuba fought off Japan 4-2.
The teams play a seven-game round-robin preliminary schedule with the top four finishers reaching the semifinals.
The United States, fielding a team of minor league professionals, will play the Netherlands on Thursday.