Taiwan won their third game of the tournament by downing China’s Beijing Tigers in a 7-2 final in this year’s World Baseball Challenge at the Citizen Field Park in Prince George, British Columbia, on Wednesday night to improve to a 3-1 mark.
A two-hour rain delay had pushed the original game time from 3pm to 5pm, but that was the only thing that kept Taiwan from doing a job on the Tigers as they greeted Chinese starter Meng Qingyuan with three quick runs in the bottom of the second on the strength of four singles and a walk for an early 3-0 lead.
After a scoreless third, the Taiwanese bats roared with a pair of runs in the fourth, courtesy of a two-run home run by Hsiao Po-ting off Meng that not only put Taiwan ahead 5-0, but also chastised Meng.
“I guess [Meng] left a pitch too high up in the zone, and I was able to get all of it,” Hsiao said after the game about his first home run in nearly four years.
His goal as the leadoff hitter had been primarily getting on base for the middle of the lineup to drive him home. Instead, he was credited with three RBIs on a three-hit night following a four-hit outing the night before against Japan.
Spotted with a 5-0 lead after four innings, starter Lin Yu-chin stuck to his game plan of getting ahead against the hitters with his fastball consistently and finishing them off with the offspeed pitches to rack up a new tournament-high of 12 strikeouts over the eight innings he pitched. Other than a mislocated fastball that China’s Li Zuyuan belted for a two-run blast in the eighth, the right-hander out of National Taiwan Sports University was well on top of his game the entire way.
“I felt pretty comfortable out there tonight,” Lin said.
Next up, Taiwan will face hosts Canada, who lost 14-3 to Japan in the late game on Wednesday evening.
It is an important game for Taiwan because a win would guarantee them at least a second-place finish in the preliminaries and the best chance for advancement into the title game. The opening pitch was scheduled for 7pm yesterday.
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