Sat, Jul 31, 2004 - Page 20 News List

Team Taiwan reaches semifinals

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Following as 2-1 loss to a tough American squad last Saturday, Team Taiwan has played well enough with three wins over Mexico, Canada, and the Czech Republic in this year's World University Baseball Championship to qualify for the semifinal round which is scheduled to begin in Tainan today.

Other than another one-run loss to Team Japan in Wednesday's 3-2 final, Team Taiwan has handled its opponents with relative ease -- defeating them with a combined 31 to 5 margin of victory.

taiwan 4, mexico 3

The young group of athletes from Taiwan's top college baseball programs nearly lost the contest against Mexico in a 4-3 decision on Sunday, allowing two quick runs in the bottom of the first on Mexican first baseman Carlos Sosa's two-run homer off starter Su Tzeh-yi (蘇哲毅).

Team Taiwan would come back in the fourth inning to tie the game at 3-3 on RBI singles by right fielder Yang Yao-hsun (陽耀勳) and left fielder Yu Shien-ming (余賢明).

The score remained tied until the 10th inning when slugger Luo Guo-hui (羅國輝) led off the inning with a triple, and then scored the game-winner on pinch hitter Lin Jin-pin's (林津平) line drive to left field.

Reliever Tseng Song-wei (增菘瑋) allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings en route to the victory, while Mexican starter Raul Ortega suffered the tough loss.

Fourteen hits, including long balls by Chung Cheng-yo (鍾承佑) and Luo Guo-hui piled on 12 runs for Team Taiwan in Monday's game against the Czech Republic.

The game ended after seven frames with Taiwan claiming the 12-1 victory in accordance to the 10-run "mercy rule," which grants the team with a 10 run-or-more lead the win after seven innings of play.

japan 3, taiwan 2

Following a day off on Tuesday, Team Taiwan took on a scrappy squad from Japan on Wednesday.

The Japanese jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first inning against junior righty Lee Guo-ching (李國慶) on three straight run-scoring singles by Takeuchi Shinichi, Tabata Yuichi and Ikebe Keiji.

Taiwan finally got on the board in the top of the fourth with a pair of runs -- Lin Jin-pin's solo blast over the left-center fence off Japanese starter Ichiba Yasuhiro broke the goose egg for the home team before second baseman Su Wei-chuan's (蘇偉銓) double, coupled with an error on the relay throw, scored the runner all the way from first.

Taiwan missed a golden opportunity to even things up in the fourth inning when base runner Tu Chuang-hsun (涂壯勳) was called out at the plate after he had apparently beaten the throw, but was tagged out for failing to touch the home plate.

The 3-2 score would stand until the end because the Taiwanese offense was unable to come up with timely hits, despite having runners in scoring position in the sixth and seventh innings.

"Hats off to their catcher for being alert in tagging out Tu after he saw that the home-plate umpire made no call on the play," head coach Kung Jung-tang (龔榮堂) of Team Taiwan said in the post-game interview.

taiwan 15, canada 0

Team Taiwan secured locked up a berth in the semifinals of the event with a 15-0 win over the Canadians on Thursday.

The 10-run "mercy rule" was in effect again for the game as Luo Guo-hui and Hsu Guo-rong (許國隆) each drove in four runs to lead an attack that mowed through the Canadian squad.

Five different pitchers, none of whom threw for more than two innings, took the mound for Taiwan as skipper Kung rested his young throwers.

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