Sun, Nov 15, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Taiwan score three late runs to defeat Cuba

EIGHTH HEAVEN:The home team broke a 1-1 deadlock in the bottom of the eighth, putting on three runs when second baseman Lin Chih-sheng hit a three-RBI homer

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan third baseman Chen Yung-chi, left, picks off Cuba’s Lourdes Gurriel during their Premier 12 game at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium yesterday.

Photo: Liao Yao-tung, Taipei Times

Taiwan captain Ngayaw Ake (also known as Lin Chih-sheng, 林智勝) led by example when he blasted a three-run homer against Cuba pitcher Danny Betancourt in the eighth inning to break a 1-1 tie to lead the hosts to a 4-1 victory over Cuba in World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier 12 action at the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium last night.

It was a night to remember, marking a rare victory against the Red Lightning.

Taiwan last beat Cuba in the 2006 Intercontinental Cup. Since then, Cuba had recorded five straight wins against Taiwan in major international competitions.

Taiwan opened the scoring in the second frame, when outfielder Yang Dai-kang (陽岱鋼) hit a grounder up the middle to drive Chen Yung-chi (陳鏞基) home.

A pitching duel then ensued between both teams’ starters — Taiwan’s Sung Chia-hao (宋家豪) and Cuba’s Yoanni Yera — with the hosts hanging on to a slender one-run lead.

Cuba leveled the game at 1-1 in the sixth inning, when Cuba outfielder Alfredo Despaigne hit a bouncer that Taiwan shortstop Kuo Yen-wen (郭嚴文) could not handle, allowing runner Yulieski Gurriel to come home from third base.

That set the stage for Lin’s heroics in the eighth, with his third homer in three straight games for the hosts to chalk up an important victory.

In other results from last night, Canada blanked Italy 4-0 in Group A, while South Korea edged Mexico 4-3 and Japan overwhelmed the US 10-2 in the showdown between the two top teams in Group B.

The US led 2-1 until the fifth frame, but in subsequent innings the Samurai Warriors exploded with long-ball firepower to take the victory.

With two men on base, slugger Nakata Sho struck a towering shot that landed in the seats for a three-run homer in the sixth. Then with bases loaded, Japan captain Matsuda Nobuhiro clobbered a grand slam homer over the left-field fence in the seventh inning to ensure the win.

In yesterday’s afternoon action, the Netherlands piled on runs early to go 8-0 by the second inning, and coasted to an 11-7 triumph over Puerto Rico.

The other afternoon contest saw a spirited comeback victory by Venezuela in an 8-6 triumph over the Dominican Republic.

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