A Little League team from Kaohsiung overwhelmed Canada 23-0 on Monday in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to move within one win of reaching the International Championship game at this year’s Little League World Series.
The Fu-Hsing Little League team coasted to victory behind a potent attack that pounded out 15 hits and drew 10 walks supported by near flawless pitching that yielded only one hit and one walk in the four-inning contest.
The regulation six-inning game was called early because of the 10-run rule.
It was the Kaohsiung team’s second consecutive shutout win in Pool D, after defeating a team from Saudi Arabia 18-0 on Saturday.
It will next play in a game tentatively scheduled for this afternoon against the winner of the elimination game between Canada and the Latin American champion from Panama, which was to have been played yesterday.
Since this year’s Little League World Series is using a double-elimination format for each pool, the Fu-Hsing Little League team could lose today’s game, but still win its pool with a victory against the same team in a rematch a day later.
If the Fu-Hsing Little League team succeeds in winning Pool D, it will play the winner of Pool C — comprised of the champions from the Caribbean, Japan, Mexico and Europe — for the international championship.
The Kaohsiung team would likely play Japan, which has already secured two wins in Pool C and only needs to win one of two games against Mexico to advance.
The winner of the international championship will vie against the US champion for the World Series title on Sunday.
Team leader Lee Su-chen said that the players’ good form and high morale suggest that they should have no problem winning Pool D, and the coaching staff has set its sights on a potential encounter with perennial rival Japan.
The last time a team from Taiwan won the Little League World Series was in 1996.
Taiwan was long a powerhouse at the annual tournament, winning 17 titles between 1969 and 1996, but it has had a dry spell since then, with this year’s club from Kaohsiung being only the fourth from Taiwan to qualify for the World Series in the past 14 years.
Last year’s team from Taoyuan rekindled local fans’ interest in the tournament by reaching the World Series championship game before falling to a team from California.