Pitching like the staff ace that he has become, Chen Wei-yin struck out seven over seven shutout innings to lead Taiwan past the Netherlands in a convincing 5-0 win in Game One of the Beijing Olympic baseball tournament at the Wukesong Baseball Field in Beijing yesterday.
The Kaohsiung County native, who enjoyed an outstanding amateur career at various levels of competition prior to being selected by the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s professional league in 2004, was simply magnificent in holding a potent Dutch lineup to three scattered singles over seven scoreless frames.
Fellow reliever Cheng Kai-wen finished off with a near-perfect eighth and ninth to keep the shutout victory intact for Taiwan.
“I couldn’t be happier with my performance today,” an excited Chen said after the game. “The velocity, control and breaking ball were all working as well as they can.”
Doing the damage at the plate with his bat was speedy outfielder Chang Jien-ming who went a team-best two-for-three with a pair of RBIs to keep his team on the wining track.
A patient Lin Chih-sheng showed exceptional discipline at the batter’s box with three drawn walks to jumpstart two of Taiwan’s three scoring rallies.
The contest began with Taiwan wasting little time getting to Dutch starter David Bergman in the bottom of the second with Lin drawing a walk, advancing to third on a double by Jiang Chih-hsien before scoring on Luo Guo-hui’s sacrifice-fly to claim a quick 1-0 lead.
After a scoreless third, Taiwan moved on again with Lin drawing a leadoff walk off Bergman and Luo following in his footsteps one out later to place runners on first and second to set up Yeh Jung-chang’s RBI-single that made it 2-0.
That was not all the runs that Taiwan would score in the fourth as Lin Tseh-hsuan also came through with a bases-loaded single for Taiwan’s third run of the game.
Chang then brought in the fourth run with another sacrifice-fly to give his team a comfortable 4-0 advantage at the end of the fourth.
Doubles by Shih Chih-wei and Chang in the bottom of the sixth scored the fifth and final run of the game for Taiwan which was more than ample for the win as the Dutch made it to second base only twice let alone scoring a run in the lopsided win.
Next up for Taiwan is Japan, which qualified for the Olympics by beating Taiwan, South Korea and the Philippines in the Asian Baseball Championship.
Game time is scheduled for 7pm tonight with veteran right-hander Hsu Wen-hsiung a probable starter.
Taking the mound for Japan will likely be one of Naruse Yishihisa, Wakui Hideaki or Kawakami Kenshin since the staff ace Darvish Yu pitched in yesterday’s game against Cuba.