The U.S. baseball team advanced to the gold medal game of the Olympics with Thursday’s 7-2 win over South Korea.
The team will play for the top spot this weekend thanks to a five-run outburst in the 6th inning. Shortstop Nick Allen, a Francis Parker alum, walked and scored in the decisive frame, as the U.S. took a 7-1 lead.
Saturday’s game against the host nation, Japan, at Yokohama Baseball Stadium, begins at 3 a.m. PST.
It will be the third time the U.S. has faced off with Japan with a gold medal on the line, but the first since 1988.
South Korea moves on to the bronze-medal game Friday against the Dominican Republic.
The team includes two others connected to San Diego – outfielder Eric Filia, a Carlsbad native, and pitcher Edwin Jackson, a former San Diego Padre.
Filia went hitless in four at-bats Thursday, and Jackson did not play.
The team has gone 4-1 at the Olympics with their lone loss, 7-6, coming against Japan in extra innings Monday.
The U.S. has played in three Olympic gold-medal games – in 1984 and 1988 when baseball was just a demonstration sport, and in 2000 in Sydney.
The U.S. won in Seoul in 1988, then in 2000, behind a team managed by former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, who died in January.